Just a week ago, the San Diego Padres were reeling.
Having been swept in a three-game series by the St. Louis Cardinals, the Padres blew a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth against the Milwaukee Brewers to stretch their losing streak to a season-worst four games.
In the six games since, the Padres have gone 5-1 against the leaders of the National League Central and NL East. San Diego will look to extend the hot streak when the Colorado Rockies visit for a four-game series starting Friday night.
The Padres will play 20 straight games against teams with losing records.
The weekend series opens with Colorado’s Chad Kuhl (4-2, 3.17 ERA) against San Diego’s Joe Musgrove (6-0, 1.64) in a match of right-handers. The teams will then play a day-night doubleheader on Saturday and a game on Sunday afternoon.
Although the season is more than one-third complete, the Padres and Rockies will be meeting for the first time. Colorado went 11-8 against San Diego in 2021.
Colorado’s first trip to San Diego also marks the annual homecoming for Rockies manager Bud Black, who played for San Diego State in the late 1970s and managed the Padres from 2007 to midway through the 2015 season. He is now in his sixth year as the manager of the Rockies and gained his 1,000th managerial win earlier this season.
“It’s not the return that it once was,” Black said of his three annual returns to Petco Park. “I’ve been gone long enough that some Padres fans might not remember I was here.”
The Rockies are looking to regain the form that got them off to a 16-11 start. Even with a 4-2 win at San Francisco on Thursday that sealed a victory over the Giants in the three-game series, the Rockies are 9-21 since May 8.
The Padres appear to be better equipped to negotiate a four-game, three-day series than the Rockies. San Diego will use just four of its seven starting pitchers. Colorado will use four of its five, although it has Monday off.
“If you go back and look, I was probably the guy against the six-man rotation much less the seven-man rotation,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said recently. “But it has worked really well for us. Very few teams have the luxury to have as many good starters as we do — so we’re trying to find a way to get them all in there, because they’ve all been productive.
“Like I’ve said, it allows them to be able to pitch them deeper in games and we can handle a doubleheader like Saturday without taxing the staff or the bullpen.”
The Padres are 9-1 in Musgrove’s 10 starts this season, for the simple fact that he has made quality starts in each outing and he has yet to give up more than two earned runs in an appearance.
In his latest start, against the Brewers on June 3, Musgrove didn’t allow a hit until there were two outs in the eighth. He wound up firing eight scoreless innings.
Musgrove has a stellar history against the Rockies: 3-2 with a 1.44 ERA in five starts.
Kuhl also will be making his 11th start. He has six quality starts. Kuhl started the season 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA through five starts, but he is 1-2 with a 4.81 ERA since.
Kuhl is 1-0 with a 5.12 ERA in four career starts against the Padres.
–Field Level Media