The Padres kick off a three-game series against the Diamondbacks tonight that will close out the Friars’ opening homestand. San Diego went 7-11 against the 2011 NL West champs last year, including a 5-4 mark at Petco Park. Over the last two years, the Padres have gone a 13-5 at home vs. Arizona, with the pitching staff posting a 2.85 ERA (52 ER/164.0 IP) and 8.6 strikeouts per 9.0 IP over that stretch.
San Diego snapped it’s season-opening skid, winning 8-4 over the Dodgers on Sunday. Clayton Richard picked up the win, improving to 5-1 lifetime against LAD. He retired the first nine batters he faced and allowed only two unearned runs in his 7.0 innings of work. The Friars’ offense was powered by Andy Parrino’s first career home run and Chase Headley’s second career grand slam.
Edinson Volquez takes the hill for his second start of the season tonight. He was tagged with the loss in his first start, making his second career Opening Day start (also 2011 for CIN). Tonight he is making his fourth career start against ARI, his first since 2010. He is 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA against the Diamondbacks but has averaged 10.4 strikeouts per 9.0 IP with 20 in his 17.1 innings of work. Volquez is looking to snap a five-decision losing streak that dates back to 7/5/11.
Tonight the Padres will face Trevor Cahill, who is making his 97th career start but his first ever against San Diego. In fact, Orlando Hudson (2-for-4) and Jason Bartlett (1-for-1) are the only Padres currently on the active roster to log plate appearances against Cahill in his career.
The players on the Padres active 25-man roster have combined to hit .248 (241-for-970) off Diamondbacks pitching in their career. Leading that group are Chase Headley (.282, 57-for-202), Nick Hundley (.303, 37-for-122), Chris Denorfia (.355, 22-for-62) and Jesus Guzman (.275, 11-for-40). For Hundley, a former University of Arizona Wildcat, his 37 hits against the Diamondbacks are his most against any opponent.
It’s tourney time, and with 48 players still in Big League camp there was bound to be some rooting interest in the Padres clubhouse. Of the players on the Padres 40-man roster and remaining Spring Training invitees, there are eight players who attended a school that made it to the 2012 NCAA Tournament: Cory Luebke (Ohio State), Clayton Richard (Michigan), Huston Street (Texas), John Baker (Cal), Brad Davis and Nick Vincent (Long Beach State), Alex Hinshaw (SDSU) and Jedd Gyorko (West Virginia). In addition, Bud Black will join Alex Hinshaw in pulling for the Aztecs tomorrow morning vs. NC State.
Baker’s Cal Bears were eliminated last night in the tournament’s “First Four” round vs. USF. Each of the other six teams earned spots in the tournament’s round of 64. While none of the players will face each other in the first round, there is the possibility of a West Virginia (Gyorko)/Ohio State (Luebke) matchup in the second round.
Six of the seven teams are slotted on the right side of the bracket, leaving Davis and Vincent (Long Beach State) an uphill battle to face one of their Padres teammates.
With a big Fourth of July win yesterday, the Padres continue to inch closer to the .500 mark. Each of the starting nine collected at least one hit in yesterday’s win, handing Tim Lincecum his seventh loss of the season. Yesterday was also interesting in that each of the Padres pitchers was credited with either a win (Richard), hold (Frieri, Spence, Qualls, Adams) or save (Bell). The four holds match the most by any team this season (14th time) and tie for the most ever in a single game by the Padres (6th time).
The Friars are 9-3 in their last 12 tilts and have not lost consecutive games since June 19-20. Over the current 12-game stretch, the Pads are posting a 2.68 ERA (31 ER/104.0 IP) and have held opponents to three or fewer runs in 10 of those contests (including two shutouts). The starting rotation has been credited with seven of the nine wins, recording a 2.57 ERA (20 ER/70.0 IP).
On the offensive side, Cameron Maybin (.341), Chase Headley (.368) and Will Venable (.323) are each hitting over .300 during the 12-game stretch.
After being optioned to Triple-A Tucson in late May, Venable has had a strong showing in his return to the Big Leagues. Since beening recalled on June 9, Venable is hitting .326 with a.385 OBP and .478 SLG (.863 OPS).
A performer from KÀ by Cirque Du Soleil delivered the first pitch prior to Monday’s game. Nice flinch by Clayton Richard.
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.
With the 2011 First-Year Player Draft approaching (June 6-8), we asked Padres player what they remember about being drafted and the excitement of hearing their your named called.
The Pads hit the road today for a six-game trip to Washington and Atlanta. After today, the club won’t have another off day until June 16, following a stretch of 20 games in 20 days.
Since the beginning of the 2004 season, the Padres have gone 32-11 (.744) against the Washington/Montreal franchise, posting a 12-2 series record. Over that stretch, the Padres have hit .274 while averaging 4.7 runs per game and posting a 3.12 ERA.
Here are the matchups for the three-game set with the Nationals:
Friday – LHP Clayton Richard vs. LHP John Lannan
Saturday – RHP Tim Stauffer vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann
Sunday – RHP Dustin Moseley vs. LHP Tom Gorzelanny
The Padres look to enact revenge and even the series tonight with Clayton Richard taking the hill against Michael Pineda.
Pineda, a rookie who made his Major League debut with the M’s this year, is making his first Interleague start.
Richard, who came up with the White Sox, is making his eighth Interleague start and 22nd overall against the American League. He is 2-1 with a 3.29 ERA all-time in Interleague matchups and 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA all-time against the Mariners (three starts). In two starts against the Mariners last year, Richard went 1-0 while allowing just three runs in 14.0 innings of work.
Here is some light reading for your Saturday afternoon, thanks to the Union-Tribune’s Bill Center:
See you at the park tonight. Eric Stonestreet from ABC’s Modern Family is throwing out tonight’s first pitch. He is a strong supporter of Stand Up To Cancer. Happy Saturday!