The Padres have faced two very tough pitchers in the first two games of this series. Tonight they'll go against the fresh face of Tyler Lyons, who will make his major league debut in the rubber game of this three-game set at Petco Park. Meanwhile, Burch Smith will continue his quest for his first career win as he makes his third ever major league start.
Smith bounced back from an abysmal major league debut by pitching 5 1/3 solid innings, despite yielding five runs on six hits, in a one-run extra-inning loss to the Nationals last Friday.
He'll need to slow down a Cardinals offense that routed the Padres for ten runs last night to snap a four-game losing streak. David Freese could miss his third straight game after getting Spiked in the thumb on Sunday. His replacement last night was Daniel Descalso, who collected five RBI on three hits, including a grand slam. On Monday, however Ty Wigginton took over at third base and went 0-for-2with a walk, was caught stealing, and grounded into a double play.
Lyons is getting the call for St. Louis due to injuries to to Jake Westbrook and Jaime Garcia. He's made eight starts for Triple-A Memphis this season, going 2-1 with a 4.47 ERA. The left-hander will become the Cardinals' third rookie starter and sixth rookie pitcher to take the mound this season.
Despite putting up just one run against Adam Wainwright last night, the Padres team that Lyons will face is one that has been clicking offensively. They've averaged nearly five runs per game over their last 20 games and have gone 16-9 over their last 25, a record bested only by the Cardinals, who have gone 17-8 in that stretch. Chris Denorfia has been a huge contributor, hitting safely in each of his last four games, including two 3-hit nights.