Washington Nationals vs. Padres Preview (7/22-7/24)
The Washington Nationals will wrap up their nine game homestand this weekend with a series against the Padres
This week, the Washington Nationals (57-39) lost two out of three games in their series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Reynaldo Lopez made his debut on Tuesday and while he looked impressive at times with his nine strikeouts, he did give up six runs in five innings in a loss.
Plus, Stephen Strasburg picked up his first loss of the season in yesterday’s game. The positives from the Dodgers series were that Bryce Harper hit a mammoth home run, Trea Turner stole home, and Gio Gonzalez gave up one run over six innings in Wednesday night’s win.
The Washington Nationals are 3-3 on this homestand, which they will wrap up this weekend against the San Diego Padres (41-55). Last month, these two teams split a four-game series at PETCO Park with the Padres winning the final two games of the series.
After sweeping the Giants in their first series after the All-Star Break, San Diego was swept in a four game series against the Cardinals. Andy Green’s club is 16.5 games behind the Giants in the NL West and they are one of the sellers as we head into the trade deadline.
Last week, San Diego traded starter Drew Pomeranz to the Boston Red Sox for Boston’s top pitching prospect, Anderson Espinoza. Espinoza is now pitching in high-A for San Diego. One of the rumored names that the Padres could deal before August 1 is starter Andrew Cashner.
During the month of July, the Padres have scored the second most runs (81) and home runs (28) in the National League. Two players that have had big months for San Diego are second baseman Ryan Schimpf (.306, seven home runs, 12 RBI’s) and third baseman Yangervis Solarte (.333, six home runs, 16 RBI’s). Plus, they have two 20-home run hitters in right fielder Matt Kemp and All-Star first baseman Wil Myers.
On the mound, the Padres starting pitchers have a 4.61 ERA, which is tenth in the NL. Their team ERA of 4.37 this month is 11th in the NL. No starter who has made more than one starters has an ERA under three (Luis Perdomo has the lowest at 3.78).
In the bullpen, Brandon Maurer has three saves this month now that Fernando Rodney is the setup man with the Marlins. Another name to watch in the bullpen is left-hander Brad Hand, who has not given up a run this month (ten games) and held opponents to a .107 batting average.
Before this series starts tonight, here is my breakdown of this weekend’s pitching matchups:
Next: Tonight's Matchup