Surging Padres Tries To Stay Warm Against Frozen D-Backs
2021-06-26 14:41:14 GMT + 00: 00 – Two teams headed in markedly opposite directions meet on Saturday night in San Diego in the middle of a three-game series.
Host Padres has won eight straight games – all at home – while hitting 19 home runs and 17 doubles.
Meanwhile, the traveling horror show the Arizona Diamondbacks extended their straight losing streak on the road to major league records to 24 straight games following Friday’s 11-5 loss in San Diego.
Both teams had 13 hits on Friday night, with the Diamondbacks recording three doubles and 10 singles. The Padres, in turn, have completed five home runs – including three by Fernando Tatis Jr., with the first two of those back-to-back home runs in the first two innings.
The Diamondbacks have now lost 20 of their last 21 games and are 6-43 after a 15-13 start.
“You have no idea what goes on inside our clubhouse on a daily basis and the pain we feel after a game,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said earlier this week.
As for the Padres: “As a group we are playing the bats a lot better right now,” said San Diego manager Jayce Tingler. “It was only a matter of time. Right now, it’s a good combination.”
The Padres have been riding a roller coaster for over six weeks now.
The first was a nine-game winning streak in a 16-3 streak that also included parts of a franchise-record 12-game home streak. Then came a 4-13 dive. It’s now another eight-game winning streak – all at home in front of frenzied crowds celebrating the chance to return to Petco Park in ability numbers.
“The fans have been amazing,” Tatis said Friday night after the first three-homer game of his career. “Do we hear the fans? How could we not.”
Ahead of Friday’s game, Tatis announced he would not be competing in the Home Run Derby in next month’s All-Star game out of respect for the left shoulder protection he had partially dislocated in the first week of the season.
“Next year,” said Tatis, who is tied with Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with 25 top homers in the majors.
Which might be what Diamondbacks players think as their season limps in the middle.
Arizona will send Merrill Kelly (3-7, 5.06 ERA) over San Diego’s Dinelson Lamet (2-2, 2.81) in a pair of right-hangers on Saturday.
Lamet is 2-2 with a 5.54 ERA in five career starts against Arizona. He was on the injured list when the Padres met the Diamondbacks earlier in the season.
Lamet is yet to secure a sixth inning out of any of his eight starts, despite throwing 81 pitches, a season-high, while shutting out Cincinnati on four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in his most recent outing. He’s allowed one or no runs in six of his eight starts.
Kelly could very well represent the Diamondbacks’ best move to beat the Padres.
He’s just had his best outing of the year, scoring Arizona’s only victory since June 2, limiting Milwaukee to one point on five hits and one walk with five strikeouts in seven innings.
Kelly, 32, is 6-2 in nine starts against the Padres since returning from South Korea in 2019. He has a career 2.92 ERA against the Padres with a WHIP of 1.216.
Kelly is 1-1 in two starts against the Padres this season, allowing four runs on nine hits and five walks with nine strikeouts in 10 innings.
–Field level media
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