The Giants return home following a sweep in St. Louis to face the San Diego Padres. These two teams last played each other [checks notes] — wow — five whole days ago. Since losing two of three to the Giants, the Padres have... lost two of three to the Dodgers, putting them at 94 losses on the season. After visiting San Francisco, they return to San Diego to host the Diamondbacks for the final three games of their season.
Ideally, the Giants and Diamondbacks are still putting forth maximum effort, and it’s that situation that creates a scenario for the Padres to end the season with an 8-game losing streak to clinch 100 losses. The Padres have lost 100+ games five separate times in franchise history, but have yet to this century. StubHub has $6 tickets (before taxes and fees) for every game of this series, meaning you could watch history unfold in person.
The Giants just took two out of three from this very team and you’d have to imagine they have a good shot at doing that again. Chris Shaw has adjusted nicely. Aramis Garcia doesn’t walk and has a ridiculous .500+ BAbip, but both of these guys can do damage and carry the Giants in a small sample size. Maybe?
In any case, the Giants have only four wins in the month of September and need to win three of their final six games to at least match their worst September in franchise history (the 1980 team went 7-19). Their .547 winning percentage at home suggests they’ll win three of their games this week and do exactly that, but what that .547 fails to account for is how the team is 10-12 at AT&T Park since the beginning of August.
But why talk about record? Let’s talk about these two teams! The Giants already won the season series, and they’ve won 6 of the last 8 season series — really, since 2011, the Padres have been more of a hairy back that needs to be shaved than the irritable bowel they were in 2010. That doesn’t mean these games are easy to watch, but there should be no mystery when these two teams come together about which one’s actually better.
Derek Holland and Chris Stratton will face these Padres for the second start in a row, as will the Padres’ Bryan Mitchell and Robbie Erlin get to face the Giants. Wednesday’s finale (not a day game) has TBD vs. TBD listed, and from the Giants’ side of things, that’s mainly because they’re talking about holding Bumgarner, Rodriguez, and Suarez for the Dodgers just in case the Giants have a chance to knock them out of the playoffs. So, for the moment, pencil in Casey Kelly here. Although, wouldn’t this be the perfect time to use Chase d’Arnaud as an opener?
Hitter to watch
You might remember how I gushed over Franmil Reyes in the last Padres Series Preview and he didn’t disappoint. The Giants did not contain him. He went 5-for-11 with a pair of walks and hit this controversial home run that shouldn’t have been a home run because of that fan, but my goodness, look at the bat speed... the launch angle...
Still, I can’t just copy-paste the Franmil love. Freddy Galvis is a hitter to watch because he might just help the Giants secure the #9 draft pick if he gets to face Ray Black again:
Pitcher to watch
In the 2.2 innings since I posted that last Giants-Padres series preview that not only sung the praises of Franmil Reyes but also Craig Stammen, Stammen has been hit pretty hard. The Giants got him for 3 runs in the two innings they faced him (including Aramis Garcia’s 4th home run of the season to the opposite field) and the Dodgers hit him for a run in just two-thirds of an inning on Friday. So, he’s been a little bit shaky, and he’s already at a career high in appearances (70). A late-inning comeback by these Giants is not beyond the realm of possibility.
The Giants will win at least a game in this series, just so we can remember the feeling one last time before the end of the season.