Padres Series Preview: Padres Take on Yankees This Weekend at Petco

Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

The San Diego Padres will start a series this weekend against the New York Yankees at Petco Park. This series has been one of the most anticipated series of the year. Fittingly enough the Yankees will stop by the weekend just before the 4th Of July.

We should be in for quite an exiting series. It is very rare to see the Yankees in San Diego. In fact before this series the Yankees had only played six regular season games in San Diego. Out of those six games only three have ever been at Petco Park. That series was not too long ago in 2013. The Padres would actually get the better of the Yankees in that series. The Padres would snag two out of the three games. Andrew Cashner and Ian Kennedy would pick up victories to take the series.

These two teams also have history in postseason baseball of course. That affair would be in the 1998 World Series. The Yankees would get the better of the Padres in that one, sweeping the Padres. I really don’t see the Yankees getting the sweep in this one. In case you are unaware, the Yankees are really not a dominating franchise anymore. The Yankees are currently 39-39 and are sitting in fourth place in the A.L. East. The face of their franchise is currently a tainted one in Alex Rodriguez. Yeah this Yankees team isn’t quite what they used to be. There not quite at early 90’s level of bad yet, but there are not the best either. The Padres definitely have a chance to take this series. Lets be honest this series doesn’t have much significance. But it will be a big morale booster to the players and fans to beat the Yankees. Victory in this series can really be a nice little token of appreciation. Something that this series will be… is fun. So make the most of it and get to the stadium and support the team.

Pitching Matchups

Nathan Eovaldi vs Colin Rea 7:40 p.m.

Ivan Nova vs Drew Pomeranz 7:10 p.m.

Chad Green vs Andrew Cashner 1:10 p.m.

If you are not too in tune to A.L. baseball you might not even recognize the guys going for the Yanks in this series. You might recognize the first one in Nate Eovaldi. The Former Dodger and Marlin is really not performing for the Yankees. In 15 starts Eovaldi has an ERA of 5.19. Don’t let the numbers fool you though. Eovaldi is a very solid pitcher who has some very good stuff. His fastball clocks in at the high 90’s. Eovaldi only has one career start at Petco Park. He would be pretty successful in that lone start. The Friars will have Colin Rea on the mound. Rea would have a decent start his last time out. He would allow three earned runs in five innings of work against the Reds. His start before that would be even better. Rea would only allow an earned run through six and third. More impressively that outing would be against the Washington Nationals. Rea’s best start of the season would be earlier in the season against the Mets. Rea would throw eight strong innings and only allow a run on three hits. Rea has shown these moments of brilliance throughout the campaign. I feel like Rea could possibly demonstrate that on Friday night. We will have to see.

The second game of the series will bring a very interesting matchup. Ivan Nova will be on the mound for the Yankees. Just like Eovaldi he isn’t quite having a successful campaign. In 10 starts Nova has an ERA of 5.32. But just like Eovaldi he is also capable of giving the Padres a run for their money. Nova only has one lone start against the Friars. That start wold be the only win the Yankees would get at Petco Park ever back in 2013. Oh boy was it a masterful performance. Nova would dominate the Padres. He would go seven shutout innings, only allow four hits and only allow one walk. Safe to say the Padres really should not underestimate Ivan Nova. The Padres will have a good chance of winning the game however. The staff ace, Drew Pomeranz will take the mound on Saturday. Pomeranz would completely dominate the Reds in his last start. He would actually have a similar start to what Nova did back in 2013. Pomeranz would go seven shutout innings, only allow three hits and only walk a single batter. This will definitely be the pitching matchup that I am looking forward the most. I genuinely do think it will be a “pitching matchup”. Not a slug fest like the one’s we have seen as of late. It’s really tough to say who takes game two of the series. However, I do see Drew Pomeranz taking it for the Padres.

The final game of the series will also bring forth a very interesting matchup. Chad Green will be on the mound for the Yanks. He will actually be making a spot start in place of C.C. Sabathia. You might be feeling relieved, but honestly you shouldn’t. You might recognize Sabathia from back in the day. But he is nothing what he was before. To his credit he is having a decent season but I still think Chad Green is more of a threat to the Padres. In fact I feel that Green will be the biggest threat of the series to the Friars. Green did struggle when he made his MLB debut earlier this season. However Green has been turning heads at the AAA level. In 14 starts Green had a minuscule ERA of 1.54. That would be the best of any International League pitcher this season. So we could see Chad Green give Andy Green a run for his money on Sunday afternoon. The Padres will have Andrew Cashner back on the mound on Sunday. Cashner will make his first start since June 10 against the Colorado Rockies. Cashner would not go long in that game as he would only pitch a third of an inning. He could not have been back for a more perfect opponent. Cashner actually did mange to beat the Yankees back in 2013. Cashner would allow two runs through seven innings and not allow a single walk back in 2013. So who better to face the Yankees than someone who has actually beat them before. Cashner could very well start to get back on tract after a pretty lackluster season thus far. Sunday’s pitching duel should be a pretty decent one. I’m not completely convinced that Cashner can take home the win, but we will have to see how it all plays out. Overall all these pitching matchups seem pretty even. Not one completely overpowers the other. I do however believe that pitching will actually be the highlight of the series. A pretty bold statement considering how recent games at Petco Park have gone. This series can really go either way, but I can definitely see the Pads taking two out of the three games from the Yanks this weekend.

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

Players To Watch

Chase Headley

One of the most beloved Padres in franchise history returns home. The all time strikeout leader for the Padres will be in town on the weekend. Now this isn’t a nice record to hold as a batter, but I just had to throw that stat in there. Chase Headley was a fan favorite in San Diego. Everyone loved the guy. Just the passion the guy has for the game is incomparable. This guy loves his job and he makes people know it. Chase Headley was always a very solid player for the Padres. Once he was even regarded as the face of the team. Then in 2014 he was traded to the Yankees. It’ll be nice to see Chase as a Yankee this weekend. I know many people will be looking forward to it. Now regarding his numbers. He’s having an okay season for the Yanks. Batting .251 with five home runs. Now these numbers are nothing spectacular, but nothing too horrible either. In recent news Chase just did get the game winner for the Yanks on Thursday. Chase’s mad dash home on a passed ball won the Yankees the game against the Rangers in walk-off fashion.

Melvin Upton Jr.

Melvin is coming off one of his biggest games of the season. Upton has been a man of the fans. If you ask him, he’ll probably just say that he’s doing his job. But Upton has done things this season to make him a fan favorite. He has had some amazing catches and he even stole home this year. Well on Tuesday night he would have quite the performance against the Orioles. Melvin would crush a ball 462 feet in his first at bat of the game. That would have been enough. You rarely see balls leaving the ballpark at center field at Petco Park. So that in itself was just a treat to see. Melvin wouldn’t stop there. Offensively he would, that would be his only hit of the game. But he would continue to show off his gold glove caliber defense in center field. Melvin Upton Jr. would rob a home run off J.J Hardy in tremendous fashion. He would then double up Mark Trumbo at first to complete the most amazing double play I’ve seen this season. It’ll be interesting to see what Upton can do as an encore to that incredible performance. Melvin is obviously quite familiar with he Yankees due to his past with the Rays. To be fair to him he actually does have some impressive numbers against the Bronx Bombers. In 109 games Melvin has a Ba of .270 with a very nice OBP of .349. He also has managed to hit 18 home runs as well. Melvin has even been able to snag himself 61 RBI and 23 stolen bases against the Yankees. Melvin really has had an impressive career against the Yankees. I predict a big series from him this weekend.

Matchups

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

Wil Myers vs Ivan Nova

Myers has nice career numbers against Ivan Nova. In 13 at bats Myers has managed to get four hits off of Nova. Now that may not sound to impressive, off the bat. But one of the hits was a double and another was a home run. Myers has also manged to draw a couple of walks from Nova giving him an OBP of .400 against him. I would definitely say that Myers is more than capable of getting a home run off of Nova on Saturday night.

Chase Headley vs Drew Pomeranz

This is actually a very intriguing matchup. Back when Pomeranz was a rookie in 2012, he squared off against Headley six times. It appears as though Pomeranz manged to get the best out of Headley. Chase only manged to get a single hit in the six at bats, but Headley did walk three times resulting in an on base percentage of .444 against Pomeranz. This will be an interesting matchup as Pomeranz has clearly developed as a pitcher.

Storylines

Will Wil Have A Nice Series?

Will Wil Myers be able to pull off another nice performance at Petco Park before the All-Star Game? It really will be interesting to see. Everything seems aligned perfectly, to see Myers absolutely kill it in this series. First factor is quite an obvious one. That is the simple fact that this series is at Petco Park. Myers has been killing all year at Petco Park with a BA of .339 at home with 12 home runs. Myers did have a very nice series against the Orioles earlier this week. He only got two hits in the two-game series but did manage to drive in five runs. The other factor that really goes Myers way, is the opponent itself. Myers has had a very successful career against the Yanks. In 25 games Myers has hit a .304 BA with seven home runs against the Bronx Bombers. Myers should be able to put on quite the show this weekend before the fireworks on Monday.

Farewell Fernando

Well It finally happened the Padres have now officially traded away Fernando Rodney. The Padres traded Rodney to the Miami Marlins for 20-year-old pitcher, Chris Paddack. The Padres actually received some really nice value in this trade. Paddack has actually looked very sharp in his recent outings. In fact in his last five innings he hasn’t given up a single hit. Now there may be some people who may not have agreed with he trade. But trust me this was an extremely good trade for the Padres. The Padres signed Rodney extremely cheap with no hopes of anything. Well Rodney at the age of 39 became one of the best closers of the 2016 campaign. I mean to be able to get a young player like Paddack in return for a 39-year-old pitcher on a one year contract was a no-brainer. Rodney however will be missed. I appreciate him trying to make this a fun season. He really added a lot to the team shooting his arrows after a save. Not to mention his numbers were absolutely fantastic. I mean the guy only gave up a run in 28 and two-thirds innings. He was amazing. His fan interaction was also among the best on the team. I saw Rodney multiple times signing autographs for the kids and the fans on those Sunday afternoon games. Rodney quickly became a fan favorite here in San Diego. He will not be forgotten. I wish him the best with the Marlins, may he continue his success. Hopefully we can see him back in San Diego at the mid summer classic.

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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