With Interleague Play wrapping up in the next week or so, we asked some of the Padres who have experience in both leagues to compare the different game styles. Clayton Richard (White Sox/Padres) and Rob Johnson (Mariners/Padres) give their take on having the pitcher hit. Aaron Cunningham (A’s/Padres – currently with Tucson) weighs in on the opportunity that role players are given in the NL. Finally, Bud Black (coached and played in both leagues) shares his thoughts on the strategy that goes into a National League game.
The Padres return home this weekend for a three-game set with the Braves that marks the third meeting between the two teams this season. The two clubs have split the six games they have played so far, with each team taking two of three on the road from each other.
Bud Black today announced his rotation for the series, with Cory Luebke making his first start of the 2011 season after 29 relief appearances. A starter throughout his minor league career, Luebke made three starts (in four appearances) for the Padres last season. As a starter, he went 1-1 with a 4.60 ERA, earning his first Major League win on 9/8/10 vs. LAD after 6.0 shutout innings of two-hit ball.
Here are the projected matchups for the series against the Braves:
RHP Tim Stauffer (2-5, 3.13) vs. RHP Derek Lowe (3-5, 4.10)
RHP Dustin Moseley (2-6, 3.02) vs. RHP Jair Jurrjens (9-3, 2.11)
LHP Cory Luebke (1-2, 3.23) vs. RHP Tim Hudson (6-6, 6.73)
Chase Headley is tearing it up this road trip, hitting .533 (16-for-30) with four doubles. Last night marked his third four-hit game of the trip. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, last MLB player before Headley with at least three games of four or more hits on one road trip was (former Padre) Marcus Giles for the Braves in 2003. Atlanta had a brief road trip of four games (a four-game series in Montreal) and Giles had three four-hit games in that series.
The Padres will look to turn the tide tonight with Mat Latos taking the hill. He was slated to face Josh Beckett, who has been scratched due to illness. RHP Alfredo Aceves will start in his place. Tonight’s game will be Latos’ fifth career Interleague start. He is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA (7 ER/25.2 IP) in his four previous outings against the American League.
In other news from Boston, it has been a busy homecoming for General Manager Jed Hoyer. He was swarmed by media on the field prior to last night’s series opener:
The Padres continue the Interleague slate with a three-game set in Boston that begins today. The series marks the return of Jed Hoyer to Boston along with Anthony Rizzo’s first appearance against the team that drafted him in the sixth round of the 2007 Draft. In addition, Adrian Gonzalez will face the Friars for the first time since moving to the American League following the 2010 season. Here are the projected pitching matchups for the series:
LHP Andrew Miller vs. LHP Wade LeBlanc
RHP Josh Beckett vs. RHP Mat Latos
RHP John Lackey vs. LHP Clayton Richard
With tonight’s game, the Pads are looking to snap a five-game losing streak and grab their first Interleague win of the season. Despite the struggles in the win column, the Padres bats have been showing some life on this trip. Chase Headley (.480, 12-for-25), Chris Denorfia (.320, 8-for-25) and Jason Bartlett (.292, 7-for-22) have all been swinging a solid bat and will look to continue that trend as they take on the Red Sox.