After going 3-6 on a road trip that took them to Colorado, Minnesota, and Boston, our Padres are home for two series. They start tonight against the Atlanta Braves, who lost the last series in Atlanta, but won in San Diego.
Tim Stauffer will take the mound as he tries for his third win of the season. Anyone who has been following the team this season knows that Stauffer has been unlucky in the win column because of a severe lack of run support. His last three starts have been phenomenal, pitching seven innings in each and only allowing a total of one earned run. But our offense was unable to back him up and lost two of those games. Overall, Padres pitching has been positively consistent, ranking fourth in team ERA since May 19th. However, in that same span our record is just 13-19. We need to find a way to support our consistent pitching with consistent hitting if we hope to contend this season (yes, I still believe we can contend).
Braves starter Derek Lowe also knows what it feels like to be unlucky on the mound. Despite decent outings, his last win was all the way back on May 6th. The Braves, 5-5 in their last 10 games, will try to give him the support he needs today and turn that luck around for him.
Coming off a series win against the Red Sox, many people are wondering if this is a turning point in the Padres season. Others are too far past the idea of a turnaround and are already looking toward 2012. Personally, I just can't count out the possibility of making a comeback in the NL West standings. Not only was the Boston series a confidence-booster, it was an example of what this team CAN accomplish. And until we are mathematically out of contention, I will hold on to the belief that we can get back in the race and give the rest of the division a run for its money.
GO FRIARS!! KEEP THE FAITH!!
6/24 vs. ATL: Venable RF, Bartlett SS, Hudson 2B, Ludwick LF, Rizzo 1B, Maybin CF, Hundley C, Gonzalez 3B, Stauffer P