Our Padres extended their win streak against the Diamondbacks to seven games, a franchise record, with a 6-5 win last night. Chase Headley was once again the star of the show, showing everyone that it is in fact possible to hit, and hit well, at Petco Park. Scanman let me in on Headley's trick to overcoming San Diego's ballpark dimensions:
@jodes0405 His secret...hit the ball harder!— Bob Scanlan (@heyscan) September 8, 2012
Tonight we'll see if he can continue to be a nightmare for opponents in game 2 against Arizona. He's helped the team take the last 13 of 17 games, including the last three straight, as well as the last 17 of 22 games at home. During the seven game win streak against the Dbacks, Headley is hitting .357 with three home runs, six runs scored, and 10 RBI. He's batting .405 with four homers in his last nine games. But while some may say that he is carrying the team, the rest of the lineup hasn't forced him to work too hard. Our offense as a whole has been clicking and continues to fight to the end of every game. The improvements in our lineup since the beginning of the season are easily visible, with different players contributing on any given night. It's been fun to watch, and especially great for our pitching staff who has been getting some much-needed run support.
Casey Kelly hopes to get some of that run support tonight as he makes his third major league start. He had a rough outing in Colorado last Sunday, surrendering seven runs (five earned), all within the same inning. Although our offense rallied to come within a run of the Rockies, the damage was too much to overcome completely. But Kelly was fantastic in his major league debut one start prior to his Colorado appearance. He took a shutout into the sixth inning at home against the Braves before handing the ball over to the bullpen.
Pitching opposite Kelly will be left-hander Wade Miley, who is 14-9 on the season with a 2.90 ERA. His last time out, he kept the Dodgers to three runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innnings, but ended up with a no-decision when Arizona's closer, J.J. Putz, gave up a couple more runs in the 9th to give L.A. a 5-4 win. Miley has yet to get a win against our Friars. He is 0-2 all-time against San Diego, and had one of his worst starts of the season when he faced us back in June. He gave up four runs in 7 1/3 innings as our boys went on to beat the Dbacks 7-1. Four runs may not seem like too much, but in 19 of Miley's 24 starts this season he has limited opponents to three earned runs or less. Tonight he'll try to keep our bats at bay and earn his first win against our Padres.