The Padres just completed only their second 9-0 homestand in franchise history. They are 12-1 over the last 13 games and hold a one-game lead over the Dodgers in the National League West entering Monday’s game against the host Milwaukee Brewers.
“We just want to keep this going,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said after back-to-back-to-back, three-game sweeps of the Cardinals, Rockies and Mariners over 10 days in San Diego.
Clearly, the Padres are playing well. They just outscored Seattle 31-7 in three games.
“Fernando Tatis Jr. is on fire,” said Tingler. “But it is everyone contributing.”
But reality might have sunk in on the Padres plane later Sunday as they flew to Milwaukee for the opener of a four-game series against the Brewers on Monday. It starts a 10-game road trip while continuing a stretch of 20 games in 20 days and 33 in a 34-day span.
The Padres were on a bit of a run earlier this season — coming off a 6-4 stretch with three emotional games against the Dodgers when they welcomed the Brewers to San Diego. Milwaukee swept a three-game series, outscoring the Padres 13-3 behind the pitching of Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes.
Woodruff held the Padres to one run on a hit and three walks with seven strikeouts in six innings to win the opener. Burnes worked six shutout innings in the second game, striking out 10 without issuing a walk.
Woodruff and Burnes start the first two games of the rematch in Milwaukee.
And although the Brewers are 3-6 over their last nine games, they saw Christian Yelich hit his first homer of the season Sunday against Cincinnati and double his season RBI count to four. And Kolten Wong was 3-for-5 with a double and a triple.
Both Yelich and Wong were on the injured list the first time the teams met.
As for Woodruff, he has a 2-2 record with a 1.58 ERA, a 0.737 WHIP and a .145 opponents’ batting average in his first nine starts. He has allowed one earned run or less in six of his starts and the Brewers would be even better than 6-3 in his starts had the offense given him even moderate support.
“It’s a lot of fun watching a really good pitcher get better,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said recently of Woodruff. “He has an incredible fastball and pours it in the strike zone. It’s a great fastball. And he’s completely in control emotionally.”
The Padres will counter with left-hander Blake Snell (1-0, 3.79 ERA) on Monday. Snell, who did not face the Brewers in the first series, made something of a breakthrough in his most recent start against the Rockies. He completed six innings for the first time this season, allowing one run on five hits and a walk with 11 strikeouts. Both of Snell’s two most recent starts were against the struggling Rockies and he held Colorado to three runs on 10 hits and four walks with 18 strikeouts in 10 innings.
Yes, those two starts were against one of the National League’s weaker offenses. The Brewers also haven’t been great offensively this season, which is why they rank last in National League in team batting average (.212) and 13th in runs scored. They recently fielded a lineup with five starters hitting below 212.
–Field Level Media