baseball

Padres vs. Cardinals: Playoffs Game 2 Preview

Zach Davies gets the ball against a playoff veteran

In their post-season history the Padres have only lost to one National League team. They beat the Cubs, Astros (when they were in the NL) and Braves the only times played them.

And then we have the Cardinals.

San Diego has made three appearances against St. Louis and lost all three, winning just one game. Unless the Friars take two in a row that streak of frustration will continue. To avoid another playoff sweep the Padres will look to Zach Davies.

The right-hander has thrown 1.0 career post-season inning. The man he'll be facing, Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright, has thrown 105.2 career post-season innings and won a World Series with St. Louis back in 2006.

So, that's a bit of a discrepancy. The good news for the Padres is in the unmatched oddity that is 2020 Davies has better numbers than Wainwright. San Diego's right-hander has been the model of consistency in his first year in Padres brown and finished the regular season with a lower ERA and higher strikeout rate than the St. Louis stalwart.

But ... there is no denying the playoffs are a different animal and Wainwright has been extremely good in baseball's second season. A 2.81 ERA with 115 punchouts and 18 walks. To his credit, Davies tossed a shutout inning with a strikeout against the Dodgers in his lone playoff appearance.

What's interesting is this matchup is very much not what we've come to expect in modern baseball. Neither one of these guys averages more than 90 MPH on their fastball and rely heavily on off-speed pitches to get outs. Wainwright is a curve ball master while Davies throws a majority of changeups.

What they both do extremely well is locate their pitches and keep hitters off-balance. This is going to be a clinic in how to pitch, not how to throw as hard as possible.

The Padres have shown they can score runs as well as any team in baseball. What they need to do is avoid another disastrous start like the one Chris Paddack gave them in Game 1. Paddack allowed six runs in 2.1 innings in his post-season debut and rookie 2nd baseman Jake Cronenworth ran himself into a couple of outs on the bases, a pair of situations where post-season inexperience cost them.

San Diego is hoping Davies doesn't have a steep learning curve because if he does, the team with the 2nd-best record in the National League in the regular season will have the shortest post-season possible.

LISTEN: With NBC 7 San Diego's Darnay Tripp and Derek Togerson behind the mic, On Friar will cover all things San Diego Padres. Interviews, analysis, behind the scenes...the ups, downs, and everything in between. Tap here to find On Friar wherever you listen to podcasts. 

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