Trevor Rogers has a tough act to follow.
Over the past three nights, Miami Marlins starters Jesus Luzardo, Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez have combined to hold the San Diego Padres to five runs (four earned) on 13 hits and six walks with 17 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings.
It’s a small sample size, but that’s a 1.35 ERA and 0.712 WHIP.
“We’ve gotten great starting pitching; actually, we’ve gotten great pitching from everyone the first three games of the series,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Saturday night after the Marlins won 8-0 to snap a six-game losing streak. “With an other hit here or there, we could have been looking at a very good week.”
So it’s up to Rogers on Sunday to keep the Padres’ bats cold in San Diego and give the Marlins a split of the four-game series.
The left-handed Rogers (1-4, 6.14 ERA) will be paired against Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove (4-0, 1.97).
Not only is Musgrove undefeated, the Padres are 5-0 in his 2022 starts.
“Joe is special,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said recently. “Not only is he very competitive and a battler, we just seem to play well behind him, both offensively and defensively.”
The Padres have outscored the opposition 37-13 in Musgrove’s five starts. They will turn to their stopper Sunday seeking to avoid losing two straight games for the first time since April 16.
The only question is how many runs the Padres can score. Though they are 8-3 over their past 11 games, they have struggled at the plate. No one below the No. 4 hitter in their lineup the past two nights is hitting .200.
Rogers could be the remedy for San Diego’s slumping offense.
In his first five starts this season, he has given up 17 runs (15 earned) on 22 hits and 11 walks with 18 strikeouts in 22 innings. He has a 1.50 WHIP, and opposing hitters are batting .262 against him.
Rogers, who finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting last year, had a 2.64 ERA and a 1.150 WHIP while being named to the National League All-Star team.
His strikeouts-per-nine-innings count of 7.4 is down 3.2 from a year ago. Meanwhile, he is giving up more hits and walks. Rogers will face the Padres for the first time.
Meanwhile, Musgrove has given up 10 runs (seven earned) on 27 hits and just two walks with 33 strikeouts in 32 innings this season for a 0.906 WHIP and a .227 opponents’ batting average.
“Joe is getting better and better and strives to be even better,” Melvin said. “He worked hard to add the changeup to his mix this season. And he’s not afraid to use it, which gives him a five-pitch mix. The biggest thing is confidence. Off the success that he had last season and the changes he’s made this year, he is very confident in what he is doing and what he brings to the game.”
–Field Level Media