Wednesday is the second game of a three-game set from Marlins Park between the San Diego Padres and the Miami Marlins. The month of July has not been kind to either team so far. Coming into Tuesday’s action, San Diego was 3-7 this month after finishing June winning eight of their last 12. The Marlins have somehow fared even worse this month than the Padres, going 2-6 before Tuesday. Both teams are among the league’s worst hitting squads, and that’s a big reason for their failures so far. The good news is that in this series, someone HAS to win the game.
For the Padres, rookie Chris Paddack will take the hill for his 16th start of this year. So far, he is 5-4 with a very nice 2.84 ERA. Paddack struggled a bit when he returned from Triple-A in mid-May but has returned to his early-season form in his last three starts. He had back-to-back losses after he came back up from the minors against the Yankees and Phillies, which are pretty hard opponents, don’t get me wrong.
The issue was he was giving up an unusual amount of home runs. Against the Yankees, he served up three long balls, and then two more to the Phillies. Even with a season HR/9 of 1.31 and an HR/FB% over 14%, it is safe to say those games were outliers in a long season. He has had eight starts where he hasn’t given up any home runs and three more where he only gave up one. Paddack is still a future stud.
For the Marlins, Trevor Richards will get his 19th start of the season in his sophomore year in the big leagues. He’s currently 3-10 with a 4.18 ERA, not exactly the most inspiring. The deeper you go into his numbers, the uglier it gets too. His FIP is 4.66, and his xFIP is 5.36, meaning he’s pitching even worse than his 4.18 ERA would suggest.
He only has a K/9 of 8; meanwhile, his BB/9 is over 4. Finally, his BABIP is .275, and the average is around .300, meaning he’s going to be giving up even more hits than he currently does. Richards was much better in his rookie season, despite a 4-9 record and an ERA of 4.42, but he could certainly use some time in the minors to figure things out.
Batter to Watch
A guy who I have not had the pleasure to write about this season so far, and boy am I excited to, is the 20-year-old Fernando Tatis Jr., who has been an absolute revelation for the Padres. He’s hitting .339 with 14 home runs and 33 runs batted in. On top of that, he’s stolen 14 bases. Go deeper into his stats, and it’s even more impressive. He has a wRC+ of 164 (!!) , a wOBA of .420 (!!) and an OBP of .406. Tatis is special and has legitimate 30/30 potential, something that’s only been done twice since 2012.
Paddack is good, Richards is not at all. The Padres have to get back on track to make a run at a Wild Card, and beating up the Marlins is a good start. Take San Diego.