It’s OK if you’re mad at the San Diego Padres. I’m also mad at them.
The Padres got swept in their last series, which in and of itself is not a bad thing. But they got swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers. While the San Francisco Giants were off doing impressive road work against the Chicago Cubs, the Padres were keeping the Giants from expanding their NL West lead by rolling over and playing dead for the Dodgers.
They also did it in late August, getting swept by LA in a three-game series then, too.
The Padres were supposed to challenge the Dodgers all year. And while it’s kind that they let the Giants have that duty instead, it would be nice if they could challenge the Dodgers in their remaining games, at least. They failed over the weekend, but they’ll get a chance later this month.
So now we ask that the Padres stop being useless, by continuing to lose games. Seems a reasonable enough ask.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres
Where: Oracle Park, San Francisco, California
When: Monday (6:45 p.m. PT), Tuesday (6:45 p.m. PT), Wednesday (6:45 p.m. PT), and Thursday (12:45 p.m. PT)
National broadcasts: Thursday (MLB Network, out of market only)
Where they stand
San Francisco Giants
Record: 93-50, 1st in the NL West
Run differential: +174, 2nd in the NL
Postseason standing: 1st seed
Momentum: 7-game winning streak, 9-1 in their last 10 games
San Diego Padres
Record: 74-68, 3rd in the NL West
Run differential: +61, 5th in the NL
Postseason standing: 2nd Wild Card
Momentum: 3-game losing streak, 4-6 in their last 10 games
Season series: Giants lead 5-4
Three Giants to watch
Brandon Belt: Captain or not, Brandon Belt has been on a tear lately. In his last five games, Belt is hitting 10-21 with 3 home runs, 3 doubles, 3 walks, and just 6 strikeouts. The Padres are scheduled to use right-handed starters in all four games of this series, so we’re going to get a healthy dose of BB9, and he’s on one of those hot streaks where he can win the team a game or three all on his own.
Steven Duggar: It’s hard not to be impressed with Duggar’s season. He didn’t make the Opening Day roster, but when given his chance he thoroughly showed out. That still didn’t keep his job on the team safe, as he was optioned, but he kept his head high despite getting demoted with All-Star numbers. And when he returned to the roster, he was once again ready to take advantage. Since getting called up just over a week ago, Duggar is hitting 7-21 with 3 triples, a double, and 2 walks. He survived Wilmer Flores and Austin Slater both being activated, and with SD’s slate of lefties, he’ll be trusted to play a lot this series.
The bullpen: The Giants bullpen has been sensational, but they’ll be tested again in this series. The Giants are starting the four-game set with a bullpen game, and this comes after optioning two relievers (Caleb Baragar and John Brebba) when activating Flores and Slater. That still leaves them with 13 pitchers, but they’ll need to be efficient.
Three Padres to watch
Fernando Tatis Jr.: The Padres may be having a disappointing season (“disappointing” being relative, as they’re still in playoff position), but Tatis still just might emerge from it all with an MVP trophy for his shelf. He’s still one of the most fun players to watch in all of baseball, and his batting line is now up to .283/.369/.630. Enjoy watching him, but also please get him out, Giants.
Jake Arrieta: The Padres added Arrieta during the season, which was an odd addition considering that San Diego was good and Arrieta was bad when it happened. And, shockingly, Arrieta followed up a bad season with the Cubs by ... being bad with the Padres. He’s made a pair of starts, and in 8.1 innings has allowed 10 hits, 2 home runs, 2 walks, and 8 earned runs, with just 6 strikeouts. Get him, Giants.
Manny Machado: I still don’t trust Machado to not destroy the Giants. That’s all.
Who wins the series?
This poll is closed
Giants win 3-1
Padres win 3-1