The San Diego Padres begin their second series of the season against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 5.
The last time these two teams met was the four-game series back in April. Hopefully this doesn’t conjure harsh memories of April 3, when the Dodgers routed San Diego 14-3 on national television. The Dodgers won three games to take the series.
That happened at Chavez Ravine. This time, the games will be played at Petco. That doesn’t necessarily mean much. The Padres are 6-6 so far at home, while the Dodgers have a 5-8 road record through the first week in May.
The Padres will face Clayton Kershaw on May 7. Kershaw has been like an impenetrable wall against Padres hitting. However, San Diego pitchers likely could avoid Adrian Gonzales. AGon has been struggling with pain caused by a ruptured disc in his back. Whether or not he will be put on the disabled list has yet to be announced.
Chacin seems to be on a trend so far through six starts. He will have a bad outing, and then follow that up with a solid outing.
His last start went well, giving up only three runs over five innings in a 12-5 win over the San Francisco Giants on April 29.
If the trend continues, that would mean he is due for a bad outing against LA on May 5. Chacin made the Opening Day start against the Dodgers on April 3. He was pulled in the fourth inning after giving up nine runs. To be fair, four of those runs came from a grand slam hit by Yasmani Grandal.
Maeda is 0-1 against the Padres so far this season. He faced San Diego in a 4-0 loss on April 4.
Maeda’s last outing was good, allowing only two runs over seven innings. That brought his ERA down to 6.58. Maeda has mostly been struggling to this point in the season.
Game 2: Clayton RIchard (2-3, 4.29 ERA) vs. Brandon McCarthy (3-0, 3.10 ERA)
Richard returned to his expected form when he pitched against the Giants on April 30. He allowed two runs over five and a third in a 5-2 win.
Richard had a spectacular start against the Dodgers on April 4. He held LA scoreless through eight innings, and scattered five hits over those eight innings. Can he do that again against the Dodgers lineup?
McCarthy has been consistent through his first five starts. He’s allowed two or fewer runs through four of those starts. One of those was against San Diego on April 6. He held the Padres to only two runs in a 10-2 Dodgers win.
Game 3: Trevor Cahill (2-2, 3.60 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (4-2, 2.61 ERA)
Cahill is beginning to earn the nickname “K-hill” after recording 37 punch-outs through his first five starts. In his last start, the Rockies allowed one run that was unearned. He struck out seven. He had a similar outing against the Dodgers on April 5. He struck out seven, but a lack of run support led to a 3-1 loss for San Diego.
Is there anything anyone can’t say about Kershaw? He’s by far the best pitcher in the National League, and he’s been a thorn in the sides of Padres hitters for years. In fact, only three of the current members on the Padres’ roster have more than one hit off Kershaw: Erick Aybar, Yangervis Solarte, and Hector Sanchez.
Players to Watch
Most of you are probably hitting the “close” icon after seeing this name. Puig is the one Dodger that Padres fans love to hate. He hit three home runs, two in one game, in the April series. One of those came against Cahill. Thankfully, he won’t face Jered Weaver this weekend.
Bellinger has begun taking on duties at first base with Gonzalez struggling with pain in his back. He was originally called up to play in the outfield after Joc Pedersen went out with a groin strain. Now, with AGon ailing, Bellinger might be sticking around instead of being sent back to Oklahoma City. Through 33 at-bats, Bellinger has a .303 batting average with two home runs, a double and a triple.
Expect the Dodgers to leave Petco on Sunday with another series win. Chacin and Maeda will both struggle in the first game. Chacin won’t give up as many runs as he did on Opening Day, but the Dodgers will score enough to keep Maeda from taking a loss.
Richard will have another solid night against the Dodgers in Game 2 and will outduel McCarthy, who will pick up his first loss of the season.
Kershaw will be Kershaw, and will be better than Cahill. Cahill will have a good day, but he isn’t beating Kershaw.