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Padres series preview: 5/8 - 5/9 vs. Rangers

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San Diego wraps up their homestand with a pair against the Rangers

Travis Peterson

After just the third rainout in Petco Park’s fourteen seasons of existence, the Padres get back to work with two games at home against the Rangers before they hit the road, where they’ll kick things off with another two games against Texas. Fans are divided on whether this counts as one series or two; I’m of the mindset that it’s one series - after all, the World Series bounces from one spot to the other, and it has “series” right in the name - but for the purpose of these previews I’ll be treating it as two series solely because when you have access to one of the best artists around, you’d be a fool not to take every opportunity to showcase his work.

The Rangers feature three former Friars on their 40-man roster, but San Diegans won’t get a chance to see any of them in action. Andrew Cashner pitched yesterday against the Mariners, and Tyson Ross and Anthony Bass are not on the active roster. Ross is on the disabled list, and Bass is plying his trade in AAA. One Texas pitcher with San Diego ties who might take the hill is reliever Matt Bush. While the local lad never suited up for the Padres, he was infamously selected by the club with the first pick in the 2004 draft. Drugs, violence, jail time, and a series of releases followed before he found new life with the Rangers. If he does get into a game at Petco Park, I can only imagine the reception he receives will be far from warm. Cashner will also probably get booed during introductions, which seems even more ridiculous to me; after all, he’s not the one who traded Anthony Rizzo for himself, but I’ve given up on trying to understand why hateful people act the way they do. At least Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail should get some applause from fans who recall either of his two stints with the Padres.

Game 1

Miami Marlins v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Trevor Cahill vs Nick Martinez

Monday, May 8; 7:10 pm

Trevor Cahill will get the start with an extra day of rest under his belt, thanks to his scheduled start on Sunday being rained out. He’ll have a better chance of getting a W next to his name in the box score, due to the fact that he’s now going head to head with someone who isn’t Clayton Kershaw. Seeing as how nothing has changed with Cahill since I wrote the preview for the series against Los Angeles, I’ll just repeat what I said then.

[...]He has emerged as the pleasant surprise of this year’s staff; the 12-18 12-20 Padres are 3-2 in his five starts, and he has a 2-2 record to go along with his 3.60 ERA. In his 30 innings he has struck out 37 batters and walked 11. If anyone in San Diego’s rotation is equipped to give the club a fighting chance against Clayton Kershaw anyone, it’s Cahill, who was absolutely stellar in his last trip to the K-hill. He struck out seven Rockies and walked nary a one, allowing just three hits and no runs in his six innings.

Nick Martinez has been performing at replacement level this season and last, which makes sense because his time in the majors tends to be as a replacement for someone who is injured, then he heads back to Round Rock. This year’s 0.0 WAR is by way of three starts, and it’s a good sign for the Padres that he has pitched progressively worse in each one. After allowing just one run over seven innings in his season debut, and three runs in six frames his next time out, Martinez got lit up in Houston last Wednesday. In 5.1 innings he was responsible for six runs, which is a result that is fairly probable when you walk three batters, allow three home runs and six other hits, and don’t strike anyone out.

Game 2

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Jered Weaver vs A.J. Griffin

Tuesday, May 9; 12:40 pm

Jered Weaver has been far worse than Nick Martinez, and Padres fans have had to sit through twice as many trainwrecks. After six starts, San Diego is 0-6 when Weaver takes the mound. It’s great for the tank, but doesn’t make for interesting games. After his most recent start, Weaver still has no games in which he hasn’t allowed a homer, and only one in which he hasn’t allowed more than one. There is an entirely legitimate chance he could have more home runs allowed than strikeouts by the time he hits the road, as his 16 strikeouts are holding a very slim lead of four, and home runs are winning 7-6 over his last three starts.

A.J. Griffin got roughed up by Oakland in his first start of the year, but has gone on to win four games in a row. Whoops, I’m getting ahead of myself; technically it’s still only three wins in a row since he hasn’t went up against Weaver yet. Minor detail, really. He’s been on his game as of late; he struck out seven Astros in five innings while allowing just one run last Thursday, and before that, he got his revenge on the A’s by striking out eight in six shutout innings.

Even though it’s a Weaver start, there’s still a good reason for Padres fans to show up other than the increased opportunity to get a free souvenir. May 9 was the late, great Tony Gwynn’s birthday, so the club will most certainly commemorate that fact.

More details about each game, including starting lineups, will be included in our individual game previews and game threads on the day of each.

The cover art for this and all series previews was provided by Travis Peterson, proprietor of Punk Rock Paint. You can find him on Twitter or check out his website to see more of his work.