Series Preview: San Diego Padres
By Kevin David
The league’s worst team looks to catch a break when the league’s second worst team comes to town in the form of the San Diego Padres. As dreadful as Washington’s pitching has been this year, the Padres’ bats have been just as bad. Outside of Adrian Gonzalez, there is nobody on the Padres roster that should strike fear into the hearts of our inexperienced staff. And inexperienced is the key word this weekend.
Friday night, the Nats stroll Garrett Mock out onto the mound for his second start of the year against Padres super prospect Mat Latos, who also is making his second start. Mock has struggled mightily this year both in starting and relief roles with the big league club, but he did show some improvement when he went down to the minors. The Nationals best shot at a win is to jump on Latos early and rattle the rookie.
The pitching doesn’t get much better on Saturday when J.D. Martin makes his second start of the season after being lit up in his first start last week. Thankfully for Nats fans, the Padres are also throwing out a rarely used started in Tim Stauffer. Stauffer has looked alright in the early going posting impressive strikeout numbers and keeping opponents batting a dreadful .156 through two starts.
Sunday’s game however should be the gem of the series with John Lannan hoping to continue his strong pitching of late. Lannan is fresh off a complete game shutout of the Mets in what was probably the best start of his career. Lannan faces off against Chad Gaudin, who has been San Diego’s leader in strikeouts but not much else.
All in all, this weekend series against the Padres looks to be a snoozer in which neither team will look too impressive. The key to winning this series will be taking advantage of the weak pitching and getting on the scoreboard early and often.