Baseball is back! After what seemed like seven years, the Padres are finally headed back to the field to embark on the "second half" (actually just the last 41%) of the season. They'll be playing a trio of games at home against the Mets to get back in the swing of things. I took a look at the team's official site to see the three projected starting pitchers for each team, and from there it was off to Baseball-Reference to dig around and check out how each starter has fared against the guys in the other dugout.
Friday, July 18, 2014: Bartolo Colon vs. Ian Kennedy
Bartolo Colon has been in the majors so long that he was a teammate of Bip Roberts and Kevin Mitchell, so he's faced a lot of batters. However, very few of the 11,434 plate appearances against him have been logged by current members of the San Diego Padres. Here are the small sample sizes from the Friars who have faced him:
Alexi Amarista: 1-3, 2B
Chris Denorfia: 0-1
Chase Headley: 0-4, 3 K
Cameron Maybin: 0-1
Tommy Medica: 0-1, K
Carlos Quentin: 3-7, 2B
Rene Rivera: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI
Seth Smith: 0-3
Will Venable: 0-3, BB
That's a collective 5-for-26, or .192. Out of curiosity I looked up batters with a career batting average of .192 and, as you might suspect, it's a handful of Padres amongst a bunch of pitchers, with Cesar Crespo, Chris Krug, Andy Parrino, Mario Ramirez, and the original Bernie Williams representing the uncoordinated fingers.
Ian Kennedy has a 4-2 record against the Mets in seven starts dating back to 2010. He took the loss in his start against New York earlier this year, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and four walks in 5.1 innings. Here's how current Mets have done against him individually:
Bobby Abreu: 2-5, 2B, RBI, BB
Lucas Duda: 1-6, 2B, HBP, K
Curtis Granderson: 3-6, HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB
Juan Lagares: 0-3, 2 K
Daniel Murphy: 3-12, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K
Kirk Nieuwenhuis: 0-3, 2 K
Anthony Recker: 2-7, 2B, 2 BB, 2 K
Ruben Tejada: 2-5, BB, 2 K
David Wright: 5-15, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 3 K
Eric Young: 2-14, RBI, BB, 4 K
Those 20 hits in 76 at-bats work out to a .263 batting average. 28 players with at least 3000 plate appearances hit exactly .263 for their career, including current El Paso outfielder Jeff Francoeur, and former Padres catchers Benito Santiago and Michael Barrett.
Saturday, July 19, 2014: Dillon Gee vs. Tyson Ross
Dillon Gee has faced the Padres three times, once each season since 2011. He's stayed in for at least six innings each outing, allowing just one run in each. He took the hard-luck loss last year, running his record to 2-1.
Alexi Amarista: 0-3, K
Chris Denorfia: 0-1, K
Chase Headley: 0-2, BB
Cameron Maybin: 1-7, 2B, BB
Will Venable: 1-7, 2B, BB, 4 K
That's 2-for-20, so they can honestly say they keeps it one-hunnit. 78 different players have gone 2-for-20 in a season, including Scott Hairston in 2005, and the awesomely named Lil Stoner in 1922. In case you were wondering, that Twitter handle is taken, but has been out of use since 2010. Research!
All-Star Tyson Ross has faced the Mets once, allowing one run on five hits and no walks over seven innings in a no-decision last season. In addition to the holdovers from that game, Ross also faced the Mets' new old guys back when the three of them were in the American League.
Bobby Abreu: 1-5, BB
Curtis Granderson: 3-7, HR, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K
Juan Lagares: 0-3, 3 K
Daniel Murphy: 1-3
Eric Young: 0-4
They add up to a meager 5-for-22, or .227. 71 players have gone 5-for-22 in a season, including Jay Buhner as a rookie with the Yankees and Gil Hodges in his final season with the Mets. Of those 71, nineteen also had two walks, including a rookie for the Astros in 1996... one Bobby Abreu.
Sunday, July 20, 2014: Zack Wheeler vs. Odrisamer Despaigne
Zack Wheeler has faced the Padres twice, receiving no decision last year and taking the loss earlier this season. The list of current Padres he has faced is a short list like those of his fellow starters, because of everyone and his brother being on the disabled list.
Alexi Amarista: 0-1, BB
Chris Denorfia: 2-3, 2B, K
Yasmani Grandal: 1-2
Chase Headley: 2-5, 2B, BB, 2 K
Cameron Maybin: 0-2, K
Seth Smith: 1-2, BB, K
Will Venable, 1-6, 3 K
While 24 plate appearances split between seven guys is about as small as sample sizes get, at least this one leans in the Padres' favor for once. Those seven guys have combined for seven hits in 21 at-bats against Wheeler, a clean .333, or basically an average roadtrip for Tony Gwynn.
Odrisamer Despaigne is still new enough on the scene to have never faced the Mets or anyone on their roster yet, which saves me a bunch of perusing and typing. Hopefully they still have no hits against him when Monday rolls around.