Padres Series Preview: Padres Start Three-Game Set vs Nationals

Credit: MLB Logos

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

The San Diego Padres will start a three game series this weekend in Washington D.C. against the Washington Nationals. The Padres are coming off one of their worst series of the season. They were swept in a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals this week.

I have to believe that the Padres will at the very least manage to win a game in this series. Now this series will not be easy my any means. In fact it could really prove to be quite a tough weekend at Nationals Park. The Nationals are one of the best teams in the MLB. They currently sit in first in one of the toughest divisions in all of baseball. The Nationals are just one of the very best teams in baseball. However, that really can be just irrelevant. I mean not too long ago the Padres managed to sweep the San Francisco Giants.

These two teams have faced each other in this season already. That series wouldn’t quite go the Nationals way. The Pads would manage to split a four game series with the Nats. That would turn out to be a fantastic series for the Padres. The Padres offense would really step it up in that series. The Friars would score at least five runs in each of the four games in that series. If the Padres can repeat that, they certainly be able to take a game or two from this series. I’m definitely not going into this series with high hopes. I mean the Nationals are simply one of the best teams in baseball. This series will definitely be a tough one. All I hope for is to at the very least see some entertaining baseball throughout the series from the Friars

Pitching Matchups

Luis Perdomo vs Tanner Roark 4:05 p.m.

Edwin Jackson vs Max Scherzer 4:05 p.m.

Christian Friedrich vs TBA 10:35 p.m.

The pitching matchups in this series definitely have potential to be very interesting. The first game of the series should definitely bring a really nice matchup. The Padres will have Luis Perdomo on the mound. Perdomo really has made a transition this year from struggling reliever to solid starter. Perdomo has proven to be a really nice member of the Padres pitching staff. Perdomo did not look so sharp in his last start. He would allow three runs on eight hits through four and two-thirds, but the Friars would still manage to win the game. Perdomo really has put in serious work as a starter. He has now allowed three runs or fewer in six of his last eight starts. Perdomo has really tried his best to ensure the team a chance of winning. He will have a very tough opponent in Tanner Roark. Roark has quietly been one of the best pitchers this year. Nobody talks about the guy and he really has been fantastic. Roark has managed to put up a 9-5 record with a very nice ERA of 2.82 on the year. He is also coming off an incredible start against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Roark would throw eight scoreless innings against the Pirates. The Padres will definitely struggle to win the first game of this series. Roark has already achieved one victory against the Padres in this season. Back in June Roark would throw six innings and allow four runs against the Padres. That would be enough to win the game for the Nats.

Game two of this series will bring another really difficult game for the Padres. The Padres will have the man everyone’s buzzing about, Edwin Jackson. Now Jackson would have what many would refer to as a great start his last time out. In my opinion it really wasn’t that great. It was great in the fact it was his first start in a while. But there were some serious flaws that many people just ignored. One big this is the lone hit Jackson would allow. The one hit that Jackson would allow would be a three run home run to Conor Gillaspie. No disrespect to Gillaspie, but that wasn’t Buster Posey at the plate. That in itself is worrying. The other big this is control issues. Jackson walked five batter in six and third innings of work. If these issues stay present, we could just be seeing an average pitcher. I’m not saying he’ll be bad, but just average. Hopefully Jackson can prove me wrong. I am rooting for the guy. But I think he will have a very tough task on his hands. The Nationals will have one of top pitchers in the game, Max Scherzer. He did struggle a bit early on, but Scherzer really picked it up as of late. He did make the 2016 All Star Game. Also in his last nine starts he holds a minuscule ERA of 1.61. Scherzer also leads the MLB in strikeouts with 171 on the year. The Padres will definitely have a very tough task to achieve a positive result in game two of this series.

We then go into the last game of the series. The Padres will have Christian Friedrich on the mound. Friedrich went from being a revelation to quite an average pitcher. Friedrich would not do anything spectacular in his last start. He would go five and a third, allow three earned runs and walk five batters. I mean it would be a decent start, but not enough to beat an elite team like the Cardinals or Nationals. Friedrich has done a decent job since joining the team. It is still hard to say how he will do on Sunday morning. The Nationals are yet to announce their starter for the third game of the series. It can anybody from a minor league call up to Stephen Strasburg. So Friedrich may or may not have a chance depending on who is on the mound. If it’s Strasburg you can basically kiss the game goodbye, but we will have to see.

Players To Watch

Daniel Murphy

Daniel Murphy has gone from being like that Aaron Boone type of player to being one of the best players in the MLB. Murphy is one of the best pure hitters in the game of baseball today. Murphy is only behind Jose Altuve in BA with a .350 BA on the year. Murphy has also managed to become a decent power hitter as well. Murph has blasted 18 home runs on the year. Murphy is one of the best run producers in the game as well with a whopping 69 RBI on the season. Murphy is just on another planet, much like his OPS which stands at .996. Expect big things from Murphy in this series over the weekend.

Wilson Ramos

Speaking of guys who have completely stepped up their game this season we go to Nationals backstop, Wilson Ramos. This guy was just a very average catcher before this season. Well now Ramos has become the best offensive catcher in baseball. He is in another dimension compared to all other MLB catchers. The all-star backstop sits on a very nice BA of .329 with 13 homers and 49 RBI. Keep a close eye on Wilson Ramos in this series.

Danny Espinosa

Bryce Harper is everywhere. He’s on billboards. commercials he’s just one of the faces of the MLB. So instead of giving recognition to the guy who already has plenty of it, well go with an unsung hero. Danny Espinosa has been great this year. Who would have thought that at this point of the season he would have 18 home runs. The most home runs he has ever had in a season is 21. He is well on his way to exceeding that mark. Espinosa has also been one of the key run producers on the Nats this season. Danny sits on 51 RBI which is just four less than Bryce Harper has on the year. Despite his low BA of .231 Espinosa has really been a key player for the Nationals this season. Keep a close watch on this unsung hero this weekend.

Matt Kemp

Kemp has actually had quite a decent season. His numbers actually closely resemble Bryce Harper’s. A lot of the focus has shifted to Wil Myers and Ryan Schimpf as of late. But how about Matt Kemp. Kemp seems to homer in almost every Padres game. Well no he’s not that good. But he has managed to hit four home runs since the All Star Break. He’s also one of the main run producers on the team with 63 on the year. You can tell that Kemp really tries to do everything in his power, offensively to ensure victory. Kemp has been great, hopefully he can have another great series. Hopefully he can generate a bit more interest from some other teams. We will have to see and keep an eye on him.

Matchup

Wil Myers vs Max Scherzer

Sometimes you just have it against someone. Well Wil Myers definitely “has it” against Max Scherzer. Back in 2013 Wil showed it. He went 2-3 against Scherzer with a home run. Well what would Wil do earlier this season? He would stay exactly consistent with his performance. Wil would go 2-3 with a home run against Scherzer once again. So now Myers is 4-6 against “Mad Max” with two home runs. That is what you would call domination. Hopefully Myers can stay consistent with his performance on Saturday. He is definitely capable of doing so. But then again who knows. The plague of inconsistency is always lurking in the shadows. Hopefully this can turn out to be a fun series for both Myers and the Padres. It may turn out to be a tough series. At the very least I do expect to see some exiting baseball throughout the series. Go Padres!

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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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