The San Diego Padres have been playing good baseball, even with Saturday’s split of a doubleheader against the Colorado Rockies.
The Padres posted their seventh win in eight games following a 2-1 victory in 10 innings in the opener. That win momentarily moved them into a tie for first place in the National League West with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But there are some dark clouds forming for San Diego.
Prior to Saturday’s first game, the Padres placed pitchers Mike Clevinger and Adrian Morejon on the COVID-19 injured list. Then in the middle of the doubleheader, manager Bob Melvin and bench coach Ryan Christenson entered the COVID-19 protocol.
“This was a little nerve-wracking,” said Padres’ quality control coach Ryan Flaherty, who learned between games that he would become the third man to manage the team in a game this season.
“We don’t know how long this will last. We’re playing it day-by-day.”
And the Padres offense, which had scored 51 runs on 68 hits over the previous seven games, scored four runs in Saturday’s doubleheader. The Padres were out-hit 17-7 by the Rockies Saturday. And the Padres’ league-leading defense made three errors in Saturday’s second game, a 6-2 setback.
“We didn’t do our best defensively,” Flaherty said.
Regardless, San Diego will go for a win of the four-game series between the division rivals on Sunday. Right-hander German Marquez (2-5, 6.49 ERA) will start for the Rockies against Padres’ left-hander Blake Snell (0-3, 5.68).
Both teams are happy for the same thing — their pitching staffs are in better shape than might be expected after three games in a span of 27 hours.
“Getting six innings today from both starters (Ryan Feltner and Kyle Freeland) is a big plus going into Sunday’s game,” Rockies manager Bud Black said.
“There are a lot of thankful guys in the bullpen for Reiss Knehr,” Flaherty said after the pitcher called up from Triple-A El Paso on Saturday morning gave up no runs on three hits over 4 2/3 scoreless innings of relief in the second game of the doubleheader.
Sunday’s series finale is an important game for both starters.
A year ago, Marquez was considered the ace of Rockies’ staff and was deemed untouchable at the trade deadline. But after opening the season by holding the Dodgers to one run on three hits over seven innings, Marquez has given up 43 earned runs in 54 innings over his subsequent 10 starts.
Going into has 12th start of the season, Marquez has the National League’s second-highest ERA among qualifying starters. But he has three quality starts in his past six outings while going six innings in five of those six games.
Marquez owns an 8-3 record with a 4.46 ERA in 15 career appearances (13 starts) against the Padres. He is 4-2 with a 3.88 ERA in eight games (seven starts) at Petco Park.
This will be Snell’s fifth start since he returned May 18 after being sidelined due to an left adductor strain. Only one of those outings ranks as a quality start.
In his most recent start, Snell gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits with three walks in four-plus innings against the New York Mets on Monday.
Snell is 2-0 with a 3.42 ERA in five career appearances (all starts) against the Rockies.
–Field Level Media