08/18 Padres Preview: Game 124 vs. New York

USA TODAY Sports

Eric Stults faces Matt Harvey in the series finale.

The Padres pulled off a solid win last night in game 3 against the Mets, so they will go for the series split this afternoon as they close out their four-game set. Taking the hill for San Diego in the series finale will be Eric Stults. The southpaw, in his sixth start versus the Mets, will try to improve on a career 3-1 record and 2.08 ERA against them. He most recently faced them in the opening series of this season at Citi Field, where he tossed five scoreless innings and struck out seven batters in a 2-1 Padres win. Throughout most of this season, Stults was one of the more, if not the most, effective pitchers in the Padres rotation. But he has lost some of that effectiveness lately. In his last five starts, he's winless (0-3) with a 4.91 ERA. His last time out, he gave up five runs and allowed a career-high 11 hits while issuing three walks, failing to get out of the fifth inning. He's allowed 37 hits over his last four starts and hasn't gotten a win in over a month. The left-hander has been fantastic at Petco Park, however, going 5-1 with a 1.48 ERA in his last nine home starts. Hopefully he can continue that trend today.

And hopefully the Padres bats will continue to produce runs like they did last night. Will Venable has been one of the more productive hitters on the team as of late and comes into today's matchup riding a career-high 14-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the majors. Last night Venable matched a career-high four-hit game and scored three of the Padres' eight runs. Nick Hundley was also a big contributor last night in his first game back since the birth of his daughter. The new dad went 2-for-4 and his two-run shot was his career-high tenth homer of the season.

They'll have a tough opponent in New York's Matt Harvey, whose 9-4 record and 2.23 ERA this year help him rank among the best pitchers in the National League. He began his 2013 season with a start against the Padres in New York on April 3rd, when he threw seven innings of one-hit ball while collecting ten strikeouts. However, the right-hander is coming off one of his worst starts, in which he gave up four runs on eight hits in six innings in a loss to the Dodgers. It was his second loss in a streak of four winless road starts for the Harvey. But even with that outing, he still has just a 1.77 ERA in five starts since the All-Star Game, where he made the start for the NL. Unfortunately for him, the Mets have been unable to provide the run support to back him. In three of those five outings, he has gotten one or no runs from his offense.

The series comes to a close this afternoon beginning at 1:10.

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