The offensive surge we saw during the last home stand seems to have halted abruptly, with the Padres being swept by the Diamondbacks to start off the current road trip. After a season-high five-game winning streak, the Padres have made a complete 180 and are in danger of losing their fifth straight tonight in the series opener against Los Angeles. Mat Latos will face Clayton Kershaw on the mound and it looks like it's going to be a great pitcher's duel.
Despite his 6-12 record, Latos has really bounced back from a rough start to the season and is pitching much more like his 2010 self. His last five starts have been quality starts, combining for 33 innings of work, a 2.45 ERA, and a BAA of just .181 while striking out 26 and walking 8. However, he has only gone 1-2 in that span. He has lost both games he's pitched against the Dodgers this season. However, both of those games were 1-0 shutouts. He combined for 14 1/3 innings and 12 strikeouts, so he certainly doesn't have a problem pitching against the Dodgers.
Kershaw is seeking his 17th win of the season to tie Ian Kennedy, who won his 17th yesterday against the Padres. He has a record of 9-1 at home this season with a 1.88 ERA. He has won his last three consecutive starts and has pitched 14 straight scoreless innings. A win tonight would also mean the first winning month for the Dodgers and an even bigger lead over the Padres in the NL West standings.
Cameron Maybin is out of the Padres lineup again tonight, making it his third missed start with a sore right wrist. He will be returning to San Diego to get an MRI and make sure there isn't anything wrong with it. Our offense needs to find a way to start hitting again and make up for his offensive numbers while he is out. We need to sweep this series in order to pull ahead of the Dodgers in the NL West battle for 4th Place.
GO FRIARS!! KEEP THE FAITH!!