After an emotionally charged – and run-depleted – opening series against the rival Dodgers, the Padres embark on their first road trip of the season. It starts this weekend with a three-game stint against the red-hot Miami Marlins.
That’s right, the lowly Marlins won three of their first four games against the Colorado Rockies and carry some hot bats into their set with the Friars. Here’s an inside look into the series.
When they play: The series starts Friday with a 4:10 p.m. (local time) game, followed by another on Saturday at 4:10. The finale is Sunday at 10 a.m. Those crazy East Coasters.
Who to watch: The marquee pitching matchup will be Saturday, when Padres ace Andrew Cashner battles phenom Jose Fernandez. The second-year starter gave up just one run while picking up the win in the Marlins’ opener. He was the lone bright spot for an awful Marlins squad that lost 100 games last year, posting a miniscule 2.16 ERA while going 12-6.
Cashner held his own in the opener against the Dodgers, pitching six strong innings to earn a no-decision in the Padres’ lone win of the season.
The rest of the series matches up like this: Eric Stults vs. Tom Koehler (making their first starts of the year) on Friday and Ian Kennedy (0-1, 5.40) against Nate Eovaldi (1-0, 3.00) on Sunday.
New addition Seth Smith is the only Padre to put the ball out of the park so far, hitting home runs in his first two at-bats with the team. His 162-homer pace slowed after an 0-for-3 series finale. We’ll see if he can keep up the hot stick.
Everyone else will be looking to do something – anything – at the plate. The only two extra-base hits from the rest of the lineup are from catcher Nick Hundley and shortstop Everth Cabrera, who really should’ve been thrown out after an ill-advised decision to stretch a single in the eighth inning on Wednesday.
Topping the list of those in need of some hits: Infielders Chase Headley (1-for-12) and Jedd Gyorko (0-for-10).
Maybe the Padres could ask to borrow some runs from the Marlins? The Fish have already put up 27 this season. Giancarlo Stanton (eight) and Casey McGehee (seven) have both driven in more runs than the Friars have scored as a team (six) this year.
Can they keep that up against a real pitching staff? (No offense, Rockies.)
What’s next: After they take their talents to South Beach, the Padres head to the Rust Belt for a three-game set with the Cleveland Indians. The interleague fun continues after that as the Detroit Tigers come to Petco to kick off a 10-game home stand starting next weekend.