San Diego left-hander Blake Snell will test his rebuilt stamina when the Padres oppose the host St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.
Snell (0-2, 6.00 ERA) will make his third start since returning from a groin muscle injury earlier this month. He threw 104 pitches in his latest outing, a 4-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on May 24.
He struck out seven hitters in 5 1/3 innings while allowing three runs on three hits and two walks.
“I thought he was fantastic, and this just kind of sets him up for the next time, where I don’t think there’s any limitations on him at all,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said after that game.
Snell is eager to work past the sixth inning in his starts, a level he hasn’t reached this year.
“You get to see what type of pitcher you truly are,” Snell said. “You get to see what kind of dog is inside of you. That’s very exciting. I want to pitch, and I want to pitch deep into games.”
Snell has made one career start against the Cardinals, in 2017. He allowed two runs on four hits and three walks in seven innings during that outing.
He will need to pay particular attention to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who hit a two-run homer Monday as the Cardinals won 6-3 in the opener of a three-game series.
Goldschmidt extended his on-base streak to 35 games and his hitting streak to 21 games. He has 22 extra-base hits and 32 RBIs in May.
“What he’s doing right now is highly impressive,” St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said.
The Cardinals, who have won seven of their past 10 games, will counter Snell with Adam Wainwright (5-4, 3.12 ERA).
Wainwright struggled while taking a 4-3 loss to the Brewers on Thursday in his most recent start. He allowed four runs (three earned) on 10 hits in five innings.
That was the first time he allowed 10 or more hits in a game since his final start of the 2019 season.
“I’ve just got to do a better job with two outs,” Wainwright said. “They’re doing a good job with their two-out approach against me. Two strikes, too. They’ve adjusted to me. I’ve got to adjust to them. Three two-out runs is really what it comes down to.”
Wainwright had allowed just three runs in 20 innings over his previous three starts. He is 7-5 with a 2.73 ERA in 17 career appearances against the Padres, including 14 starts.
San Diego has scored just 15 runs in its past six games, losing four of those contests.
“We’re fighting to get some hits,” Melvin said. “We’re getting more and more hits, we’re just not getting the big blow consistently here. But as long as we keep putting guys on base, it will come.”
The Padres could get right fielder Wil Myers back for on Tuesday. He sat out Sunday due to knee inflammation, but he worked out before the Monday game and felt good enough to be available off the bench, though he wasn’t used.
“He went out here and ran (Monday) and felt pretty good,” Melvin said. “Excellent chance he’ll be in the lineup (Tuesday).”
–Field Level Media