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Padres Preview: Clayton Richard vs. Martin Perez & the Texas Rangers

Padres have a chance to split a split series - yes, that’s what I meant to say!

MLB: San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants
Clayton Richard has the seventh-highest batting average of all Padres this year.
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres have a chance to split a split series. Stick with me here: on Monday and Tuesday, the Padres hosted the Rangers in Petco. The Padres won on Monday and then got embarrassed on Tuesday. That’s a split of a two-game series. Then the Padres and Rangers traveled to Arlington and played yesterday, a close game won by the Rangers. If the Padres can win today’s game, that would be a split of this two-game series, and it would be a two-win, two-loss split of a two-and-two home-and-home that I insist on complaining about because the scheduling is asinine. If this were an interleague matchup between regional rivals where fans would realistically go to both sides of the series, like Orioles-Nationals or Royals-Cardinals it would make sense, but these two cities are too far apart and the teams have no rivalry to inspire such travel. It’s silly to have these teams play back-to-back two-game series when fans couldn’t make the drive from one park to the other in time for the first pitch. /rant

Luis Perdomo was a breath of fresh air yesterday. After Jered Weaver demonstrated how not to be an MLB starting pitcher, Perdomo came on and held the fort down as a proper starter should. A night after Andy Green had to deploy four relievers to cover six innings, Perdomo did his job and allowed the bullpen a respite for the most part. Clayton Richard is now challenged with a similar task. Every pitcher in the Padres bullpen has been used in the last three days, and the only one with single digit pitches thrown (Jose Torres) left yesterday’s game after taking a line drive off his pitching wrist. If Richard can pitch to weak contact and generate quick outs, he can work deep into this game and let these relievers get a little breather. He’s coming off a five-inning, five-run loss against the Dodgers, and his career numbers against the Rangers organization aren’t great, but the current Rangers roster doesn’t have much success against him, and most of them will be getting their first look at Richard today.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Martin Perez would be considered a sinkerballer if he wasn’t contrasted by baseball most extreme sinkerballer who happens to be his opponent today. He works primarily with four-seam fastballs up in the zone and two-seamers down with arm-side run to generate swings and misses, which contrasts Richard’s contact-heavy style. His off-speed offerings (changeup/slider/curveball) don’t get the same kind of whiffs as his two-seamer, so since Padres hitters can’t seem to lay off junk pitches, that might work out in our favor. His breaking balls don’t have hard bite, so anything left up could be headed toward souvenir city.

Upon the conclusion of today’s game, the Padres head to the south side of Chicago, the baddest part of town, for a three-game weekend series against the White Sox. Once again they’re mired in a three-week stretch with no days off, so let’s hope for a quick game today so these guys can get to Chi town rested and ready for the next series.

Start time: 5:05PM PDT
Radio: 94.9FM, 860AM (Español)
TV: Fox Sports San Diego
Online: MLB.TV