The San Francisco Giants just played the San Diego Padres, and now they get to play the Padres again, and hopefully you enjoy that because give it a week and a half and the Giants will be ending the season with some more Padres in their life.
By now you know the story.
The Padres were supposed to compete with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the top of the NL West; instead, the Giants took their place. It started early in the season, when the Giants won a few games against San Diego and you thought, “hey, that’s pretty cool,” but didn’t think much of it. Then the Giants stayed ahead of the Padres, and stayed ahead of the Padres, and stayed ahead of the Padres, and here we are: with the Giants trying to stave off the Dodgers by facing the Padres in not one series, not two series’, but three.
The first was last week, when the teams split a four-game series by the Bay. The second is right now, in Southern California. And the third comes next weekend, in the final series of the regular season, back in San Francisco.
The Dodgers also have a series left against the Padres. So San Diego will play a huge role in who wins the NL West — just not the way we initially thought.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres
Where: Petco Park, San Diego, California
When: Tuesday (7:10 p.m. PT), Wednesday (7:10 p.m. PT), and Thursday (1:10 p.m. PT)
National broadcasts: Tuesday (FS1) and Wednesday (ESPN)
Where they stand
San Francisco Giants
Record: 97-53, 1st in the NL West
Run differential: +181, 2nd in the NL
Postseason standing: 1st seed
Momentum: 1-game losing streak, 7-3 in their last 10 games
San Diego Padres
Record: 76-73, 3rd in the NL West
Run differential: +46, 5th in the NL
Postseason standing: 4 games out of the second Wild Card
Momentum: 3-game losing streak, 2-8 in their last 10 games
Season series: Giants lead 7-6
Three Giants to watch
Kevin Gausman: Gausman is now the Giants newest pinch-hitting weapon, but his impact will certainly be felt more on the mound than in the batter’s box. His last start came against San Diego, and it didn’t go great: he pitched 5 innings, allowing 8 hits, 1 walk, and 4 earned runs (though he did strike out 7). But in his 3 prior appearances against the Padres this year, the Giants ace pitched 19 innings and allowed just 14 hits, 3 walks, and 3 earned runs, with 18 strikeouts. He starts the opener.
Kris Bryant: The Giants, Dodgers, and Padres all made big swings at the trade deadline, and the Giants prize acquisition was Bryant. He enters the series with an 8-game hitting streak, and the Giants will certainly hope that he can be a difference maker once again. In last week’s series against San Diego, Bryant hit 4-9 with a home run, 2 doubles, and 3 walks. More of that would certainly be welcome.
The Brandons: Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt have been two of the Giants best hitters all season long, and against a righty-heavy Padres team, they’ll be critical components of the lineup. Plus, let’s be honest: it just feels right that Belt and Crawford (and Buster Posey) would lead the push into the postseason.
Three Padres to watch
Fernando Tatis Jr.: I think I’ve had Tatis listed as a player to watch in every Padres series preview this year, and I don’t see why that should change now. He’s quite arguably the best player in the National League, and if there’s one person who can single-handedly mess with the Giants otherwise happy plans, it’s Tatis.
The pitchers, whoever they may be: According to ESPN, “TBD” is starting not just Tuesday’s game, but Thursday’s as well. In between them, the Padres are apparently starting nobody (though, to be fair, the Giants are also listed as starting nobody on Wednesday, in between Gausman and Logan Webb starts). The Padres pitching staff has underperformed this year, but they still have Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and Chris Paddack, so they still instill fear in hitters. Let’s hope the Giants get to face Jake Arrieta again.
Adam Frazier: The Padres big position player upgrade at the deadline hasn’t worked out very well for them, as the 2021 All-Star went from a 128 OPS+ in Pittsburgh to a 79 OPS+ in San Diego. But he seems to dominate the Giants regardless of what jersey he’s wearing, and on the year is hitting 18-47 against San Francisco, with 4 doubles, 1 triple, and 4 walks to just 5 strikeouts.
Who wins the series?
This poll is closed
Giants win 2-1
Padres win 2-1
Who do the Dodgers play?
While the Giants are playing the Padres, the Dodgers will be on the road facing the Colorado Rockies.