Thursday, July 18, 2024
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MLB Preview: San Francisco Giants (69-64) at San Diego Padres (62-72)


TODAY’S GAME: The Giants open their seven-game road trip with the first of four in San Diego (Aug. 31-Sept. 3) before heading to Chicago-NL for three games (Sept. 4-6). This is SF’s first and only trip to San Diego this year, having lost both games “at” the Padres when the teams played in Mexico City April 29-30. The Giants are coming off a series win vs. CIN, their first since taking three of four vs. ARI July 31-Aug. 3…SF’s last road series win was its first out of the All-Star break when they swept a three-game set at PIT (July 14-16). With a win in the last road trip’s finale (8-6 victory at PHI on Aug. 23), the Giants have a chance to win consecutive road games for the first time since taking five-straight out of the break (July 14-18 at PIT and CIN). The Giants’ offensive struggles date back to the last time these teams met when the Padres took the finale of the series in SF 10-0 on June 22…since that game, SF is 27-32 with a league-low .218 batting average and .633 OPS.

WILD THOUGHTS: The Giants currently hold the third Wild Card spot with a 0.5 game advantage over Arizona and a 1.0 game lead over Cincinnati. Per Stats, LLC, the Giants have made the playoffs six of eight times in the Wild Card era when entering September in-line for the postseason. SF made the Postseason in 2021, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2003 and 2000 while missing the playoffs in 2009 and 2004.

DOWN TO THE WIRE: The Giants and Padres stand at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to winning close games. SF is 49-31 (.613) in games decided by three or fewer runs… their .613 winning percentage is best in the National League, and second-best in MLB behind Baltimore (52-28, .650). San Diego is 28-49 (.364) in games decided by three or fewer runs, which is the second-worst mark in MLB, leading only Kansas City (26-60, .302). SF’s 33 wins in games in which their opponents held the lead are tied for ninth-most in MLB, with two of those comebacks coming against San Diego on June 19 and 20.

JUNE IN AUGUST: RHP Jakob Junis will make his fourth start of the year as the opener in today’s bullpen game. Junis has yet to allow an earned run in 8.2 innings as a starter with 11 strikeouts, a 0.69 WHIP and a .152 opposing batting average (5×33)…as a team, the Giants are 2-1 in Junis’ starts. SF is 18-12 in games when using an opener with a team ERA of 3.51.

START AND STOP: SF’s starters have pitched a league-low 599.1 innings. The Giants enter today with three straight games in which their starter pitched at least 6.0 innings in the game. This is just the second time this season in which they’ve accomplished this feat with the other being four straight from April 7-10 vs. Kansas City and Los Angeles-NL. Overall, Giants starters have thrown at least 6.0 innings just 47 times this season, third-fewest in the NL behind the Rockies (39) and Reds (44).

‘PEN TO PAPER: The high-volume of innings for SF’s bullpen has set the group up for a record-breaking season. SF’s bullpen leads MLB with 592 strikeouts…the next closest team is Miami with 530. Giants relievers’ 592 strikeouts are second-most in franchise history, with the record being 611 strikeouts in 2019. SF has a 3.31 bullpen ERA since May 1, which is second to only the Braves’ 3.27.


Friars go 1-5 on their roadtrip

  • The Padres dropped 4 of their 5 games @ Milwaukee and @ St. Louis, with their sole win coming on Friday night @ Busch Stadium…since the day after the trade deadline, the Padres have a .346 winning percentage (9-17), the 2nd-lowest in the National League ahead of just the Rockies (7-10, .269). With their record at 62-72 the Friars are 10 games under .500 for the 1st time since 2019.

Padres sitting at 799 all-time wins at Petco Park

  • The Padres’ next “W” at home will mark their 800th all-time victory in downtown San Diego…Petco Park opened a little over 19 years ago on April 8, 2004 against the Giants…that day, the Padres’ David Wells started opposite SF’s Dustin Hermanson)…the Padres held Barry Bonds abay (went 0-for-4), and San Diego won in extra innings on a Sean Burroughs’ walk-off single.

1-run woes

  • The Padres’ 6-22 (.214) record in 1-run contests is the worst in the big leagues, the year after having the best record in baseball in 1-run games (were 30-17, .638, in 2022)…including yesterday’s loss, San Diego has dropped 6 straight 1-run games, and they are 1-7 in them since the All-Star break.

Compare & Contrast: 2022 Padres to 2023 Padres

  • Compared to this date last season, the Padres have hit more home runs (168 in 2023 compared to 119 in 2022), had more extra-base hits (402 compared to 362), scored more runs per game (4.50 to 4.43), and have a better run differential (+54 to +44)…however, they have 10 fewer wins this year with a record at 62-72, compared to their 72-59 record on August 30, 2022.

last outing 8/26 vs. MIL (4.1 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, HB, 4 SO) current scoreless streak 0.0 IP (0 g) Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball (31.3%) Changeup (26.8%) Curveball (23.2%) Sinker (18.7%) Set for his 9th app and 3rd start of the season for SD tonight…it will be his first career start at Petco Park…6 of his 8 career relief outings have come at Petco Park, where he owns a 1.57 ERA (4 ER, 23.0 IP), 1.00 WHIP and .190 AVG Allowed a career-high 5 ER in his most recent outing last Sat @ MIL, which all came in the 5th inning on 5 hits across 4.1 IP in SD’s 5-4 defeat…his other start this season came on Aug 1 @ COL, when he tossed 4.0 innings of 5-hit, 1-run ball in SD’s 8-5 victory. His last relief outing came on Mon, Aug 21 vs. MIA, when he relieved Wacha in the 6th inning and the 0.2 IP was the shortest outing of his career, having tossed 1.0 IP just once (April 14, 2022 vs. ATL)…has tossed at least 2.0 IP in 10 of his 12 career outings. Tonight will mark his 5th career start, with the other 2 prior to this season taking place on April 11, 2019 @ ARI and Oct. 1, 2021 @ SF….allowed a combined 2 ER across 9.1 IP in both those starts, posting a 1.93 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and .216 opp. AVG…prior to his ML debut on April 11, 2019, his 1 start for Amarillo (AA) was the highest level at which he had pitched. Relieved Rich Hill on Thurs. Aug 17 vs. ARI and tossed 4.0-scoreless IP of 1-hit ball, his 4th straight outing allowing 1 ER-or-fewer across 4.0+ IP…the only other Padres pitcher in SD history to post 3 straight relief outings of 4.0+ IP while allowing 1 ER-orfewer was Mike Corkins in Aug 1973…that last ML pitcher to do so was OAK’s Daniel Mengden in Sept 2018…Bob Melvin was/is the manager for both Mengden and Avila. He’s struck out a career-high 7 twice this season, including his 3rd career start Tues, Aug 1 @ COL, in SD’s eventual 8-5 victory. He’s been recalled twice this season from Triple-A El Paso…in minor league action in ’23, he made 20 app (15 starts) between ELP (19 app) and Fort Wayne (1), going 1-6 with a 8.42 ERA, 7.9 SO/9 IP ratio and .309 AVG across 16 app.
Had 2 stints with the Padres’ ML club in ’22, making the first 2 relief appearances of his MLB career on April 14 vs. ATL (1.0 IP, 2 H, ER, HR, 2 SO, GF) and April 24 vs. LAD (3.0 IP, H, ER, BB, 3 SO). His 124 strikeouts in 2022 were the most by an El Paso (AAA) pitcher in team history, surpassing the previous record of 121 held by Chris Smith (2015) and Carlos Pimentel (2016).

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