The Padres continue their road trip with a trio of weekend games against the White Sox in a clash of exciting but deeply flawed fourth-place teams. Both clubs are riding three-game losing streaks, and the similarities get even stranger from there. Each team is 2-7 this month and would probably be 2-8 if they hadn’t been bailed out by a rainout against a better-equipped division rival. Something’s got to give, and it could quite possibly be the sanity of both teams’ fans.
Jhoulys Chacin vs Miguel Gonzalez
Friday, May 12; 5:10 pm
Jhoulys Chacin’s spot in the rotation came up yesterday against the Rangers, but manager Andy Green flipped Chacin and Clayton Richard in order to give them each favorable matchups. It worked for Richard, and now we’ll see if the move was a complete success. Chacin could certainly use whatever help he can get, as he has a 5.26 ERA to show for his 39.1 innings - although his FIP is “just” 4.36. Aside from that, his numbers fall right in line with his career stats. His 2017 WHIP of 1.355 is nearly identical to his lifetime 1.373 mark, and he’s walking and striking out batters at his usual clip. Along with being well rested, he’s coming off a decent performance. In his last start, against the Dodgers, Chacin allowed a lone run on four hits and three walks, striking out three batters and taking his first no-decision of the year in what turned out to be an 8-2 loss.
White Sox starter Miguel Gonzalez is putting together another quietly solid season. The team is 4-2 in his starts, and he has a 3.18 ERA in his 39.2 innings, which works out to about 6.2 per game. That’s precisely how long he lasted in his last outing, when he allowed two runs on six hits and a walk in a loss at Baltimore; he struck out five batters, which is also about average for him.
Trevor Cahill vs Dylan Covey
Saturday, May 13; 4:10 pm
Trevor Cahill continues to be the bright spot in San Diego’s rotation - the anti-Weaver, if you will. This year’s Drew Pomeranz continued his winning ways this past Monday against Texas, throwing 5.1 shutout innings despite walking five batters and hitting another. He did allow just one hit, and his five strikeouts dropped his season K rate to a still-astounding 11.2 per nine innings. That far exceeds his career high of 9.0, which he set last year when he pitched in relief. The Padres have won each of his last four starts, during which time he has lowered his ERA from 4.50 to 3.06, which is awfully close to the 2.97 he posted in his All-Star season of 2010, when he went 18-8 for the A’s; his WHIP (1.160) is also about the same as it was then (1.108), as is his ERA+ of 136 (138 in 2010).
The Padres odds of winning a fifth straight Cahill start are greatly improved due to who they’ll be facing. Rule 5 pick Dylan Covey has had a rough time acclimating to the majors, as his 8.28 ERA and 1.920 WHIP in 25 innings can attest. In his five starts the USD alumnus has struck out just 11 batters, walked another 11, and given up seven home runs. His last start was more of the same; he lasted just four innings against the Orioles, getting lit up for six earned runs on six hits and a walk.
Jered Weaver vs Jose Quintana
Sunday, May 14; 11:10 am
The Padres still have not won a game started by Jered Weaver, and they just might never. Weaver is now officially pitching for his job, and he’s shown zero promising signs that indicate he is capable of being even replacement level at this point. In his last four starts his ERA has climbed from 3.91 to 6.81, and he has pitched fewer innings in each successive game. Most recently he followed a four-inning beatdown with a mere three innings of embarrassment. In the process of retiring nine Rangers, Weaver allowed seven earned runs on six hits and two walks. Of course two of those hits found their way to the outfield seats; he has now given up 14 homers in 35.2 innings.
Jose Quintana is having a down year by his standards. His ERA, which was between 3.20 and 3.76 in each of his first five seasons, sits at 4.46 after seven starts. His strikeout rate of 8.7 is a career high, but so is his walk rate of 4.0. He’s coming off a rough start against Baltimore, during which he gave up four runs on nine hits and three walks in five frames. This followed a stellar outing of eight shutout innings against the Royals, when he struck out seven hitters andallowed only four baserunners, so it’s tough too say which Quintana will show up this time around. Odds are, either one will still be sufficient enough to come out victorious over Weaver.
More details about each game, including starting lineups, will be included in our individual game previews and game threads on the day of each.