The Padres discovered they would be dodging a bullet today when it was announced that superhuman Seattle starter Felix Hernandez was placed on the 15-day disabled list and will not be making his scheduled start. Taking his spot will be left-hander James Paxton, who is making his first major league appearance of this season. Paxton will be pitted against San Diego starter Christian Friedrich, who has been a pleasant surprise since being called up less than three weeks ago.
Paxton has split time between Seattle and AAA Tacoma each of the past three seasons, putting together one full season's worth of stats. He has a stone cold 3.16 ERA in 165 innings over 30 starts, striking out 7.4 batters per nine innings while maintaining a 1.255 WHIP. He has made 10 starts for Tacoma so far this season, putting up a 3.97 ERA in 47.2 innings. Paxton has made one start versus the Padres, last year when he went six shutout innings allowing three hits and five walks, picking up the win.
Christian Friedrich will be making his fourth start of the season; he has had exceptional results in his first three. Last Friday he pitched seven innings of shutout baseball, permitting only three hits and a walk, bringing his small-sample-size ERA down to 1.65. He has not fared well against Seattle in the past, getting shelled in one start in 2012 and three relief appearances last season. Altogether he has a 13.50 ERA in 7.1 innings of work versus the Mariners, having allowed 11 earned runs on 13 hits and seven walks, striking out just four batters. Tonight we'll see if his struggles against Seattle are a thing of the past, or if his success so far this season has been a mirage.
Friedrich's first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM. If you're not joining me down at the ol' ballyard, tune in to FOX Sports San Diego or The Mighty 1090, and feel welcomed to join in on the game thread here.