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Giants at Padres, 9/18: Pep in your step

Derek Holland goes for his eighth win while Joey Lucchesi (LHP) goes for his ninth.

Pittsburgh Pirates v San Diego Padres Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Ahhhhh, that was a good win last night. It feels like it’s carried over into today. Well, at least for me it has. The rookies did their best and were rewarded for their efforts. Unfortunately, the Giants have to face a left-handed starter tonight, and reports of their collective death against them have been greatly understated. Of course, the Giants can’t hit at all, but the contrast is even more stark against southpaws.

And, of course, this is the Padres we’re talking about here. They have a way of worming their way up the intestines and bursting through your eyeballs.


Chris Shaw somehow managed to get a consecutive start the night after going 3-for-3. Maybe it’s sabotage to get him in there against a lefty, or maybe it’s all part of the crash course.

Hunter Pence is 1-for-2 with a strikeout against Joey Lucchesi this season and he’s actually been worse against lefties (.475 OPS in 89 PA) than righties (.588 OPS in 120 PA), but again, he’s 1-for-2, and a .500 batting average is ownage.

It was a planned day off for Brandon Crawford and not entirely related to his wonky knee. Still, you would be forgiven for mistaking this lineup for Triple-A Sacramento, where Evan Longoria was making a rehab start.

Derek Holland (7-8, 3.77 FIP) hasn’t had the Padres number, which just makes him a #ForeverGiant. In three starts against the San Diego this season (14.2 innings) he’s given up 8 runs and struck out 13 while allowing 14 hits (1 home run in each start) and walking only five. He’s 34th in MLB in FanGraphs’ ERA- with 88. Baseball Reference goes the other way with ERA+ and has him at a 113, so really, he’s been about 12.5% better than the average major league pitcher at this point in the season, given his results. The Giants definitely got some surplus value out of their acquisition in the offseason, and to his crdit, he’s set himself up nicely for a payday of some sort this offseason.

Holland has a 2.23 ERA in his last 7 starts (40.1 innings) with a 39:18 K:BB ratio. Sure, he’s twice faced the Mets in that span and he didn’t complete five innings against the Dodgers in the second start of this streak, but he’s had quality starts (at least 6 innings, no more than 3 runs allowed) in four straight, the latter two games being against the Brewers and Braves.

Joey Lucchesi (8-8, 4.08 FIP) struck out 9 Giants in 6 innings back in April during that dreadful three game-losing streak to end that 4-game series in San Diego. the Giants as a team have a .663 OPS in 1973 plate appearances against left-handed pitching this season, so this would seem to be a matchup in his favor. He’s also struck out 45 in his last 38.1 innings pitched (7 starts) and posted a 3.52 ERA.

A win today is a series win!