The big inning has been the Padres downfall this season. A nine-run eighth and a four-run first essentially cost the team two wins in the series against the Royals. Now a new foe has arrived in town, as the Cincinnati Reds open a three-game series against the Padres. Two teams in similar stages of rebuild with shaky pitching staffs and unusual rosters should make for some entertaining baseball.
Luis Perdomo has had a rough season so far. He’s looked great at times, like on May 31st when he put up seven strong innings against the Cubs without giving up an earned run, but he’s also struggled through a few tough outings. His most recent start against the Diamondbacks was one of those. The “bad inning bug” bit him, as he gave up five earned runs in an inning that proved to be the fatal blow in that game. His advanced stats suggest that he’s been remarkably unlucky, as you compare his 5.47 ERA against his 4.42 FIP and his 3.84 xFIP, and it’s also worth noting that hitters have maintained a .327 BABIP against him as well. Groundballers tend to give up more hits on batted balls, but this is kinda silly. Granted, the Padres’ defense hasn’t been up to snuff, but it’s still got to be rough to keep your head up through the big innings and the tough losses. I suppose this is “baptism by fire” for the kid. He’s been roughed up by lefties in particular, as they’ve hit .309/.393/.489 against him this season. Reds manager Bryan Price is no fool, so expect to see a lineup with an extra lefty sprinkled in there, and pay no attention to the fact that the dude who hit four homers in one game last week hits from the left side as well. Oh, and they have BABIP machine Billy Hamilton and OBP machine Joey Votto over there too.
It seems like Bronson Arroyo has been around forever. The quadrigenarian (that means he’s in his 40’s) has returned to baseball for his 16th MLB season after injuries kept him out of the game in 2015 & 2016. While he hasn’t exactly been sharp, he’s been mostly serviceable this season, as he’s taken the mound every fifth day and made it at least four innings into each start. Along the way he’s posting career-worst walk and home run rates while maintaining a relatively low BABIP, which suggests that his 5.68 ERA might actually be a bit lucky. As for his repertoire, he’s a junkballer who throws a ton of sliders and curveballs with the occasional mid-80’s fastball mixed in. The Padres hitters have actually struggled a bit against “finesse” pitchers, but Arroyo’s a bit of an outlier in that group. That said, he’s a savvy veteran who knows how to attack young hitters, so he might make a few guys look silly up there. I’d talk more smack about the Reds pitching staff, but the Padres pitchers are one of only a few staffs in the league who are worse.
Hey, remember when Bronson Arroyo had cornrows and he kinda looked like Riff Raff? Remember when he did that “Red Hooded Sweatshirt” song and Aroldis Chapman did the “shamalamadingdong” part? That was cool.
Okay, so we have a starting pitcher who’s been struggling lately, and he’s facing a lineup with some hot hitters with decided platoon splits. Alright, well we’re facing a starter who’s looked kinda like Jered Weaver with a Rockettes leg kick who’s been issuing lots of walks and homers, so there’s that. If Perdomo can avoid the big inning, and the Padres hitters can find some mojo, the kids could eke out a W today.
Start time: 7:10PM PDT
Radio: 94.9FM, 860AM (Español)
TV: Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Deportes San Diego