The Padres and Mets will decide the winner of their three-game series this afternoon in a rubber match at Citi Field. In this finale, Clayton Richard returns to the mound as a starter for San Diego opposite New York’s Steven Matz.
Richard’s resurgence is part of a temporary six-man rotation being utilized by the Padres for the time being to help give the rest of the staff some rest. This will be his first Major League start in 2016 after being used solely as a reliever by the Chicago Cubs until his release on August 3rd. Three days later, the Padres picked him up and took the mound that evening out of the bullpen. It wasn’t the glorious return to San Diego anyone had hoped, as he only lasted long enough to record one out and gave up a run on two hits in the process. His next outing was much better - one scoreless and hitless inning with two strikeouts, though he also issued two walks.
Overall it hasn’t been a great season for Richard. Through a total of 15 1⁄3 innings of work (including the 1 1⁄3 innings he’s pitched so far for the Padres), he’s posted a 6.46 ERA. But hopefully a return to a starting role (even in a temporary capacity) can bring him some success on the mound. He has only ever started against the Mets, and has had mixed results, amounting to a lifetime 2-2 record and 4.25 ERA against them.
Matz hasn’t faced the Padres yet through his first two Major League seasons, so this will be a first for the rookie. The 25-year-old is making his 22nd start of the season and he’s coming off his most laborous outing yet. Matz threw a career-high 120 pitches his last time out, against the Diamondbacks. Those 120 pitches took him through six innings as he allowed two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out nine batters.
Since starting his 2016 season with a 7-1 record and 2.28 ERA through his first nine games, Matz has gone just 1-7 with a 4.65 ERA through his last twelve, so he’s looking to get back into a good groove and lead his team to a series win.
Game time: 10:10 am PT
Radio: The Mighty 1090, La Poderosa 860 (Sp.)
TV: FSSD, Fox Deportes San Diego (Sp.), MLB Network (out-of-market)
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