Joey Lucchesi takes the hill for the Friars tonight at 5:10 P.M PDT. It will be his 3rd career start at Coors Field.
In his 2 career starts in Colorado, Lucchesi owns a 1-0 record and 1.50 ERA. He’s faired well over over 5 total starts coming in at 1-1 and a 3.10 ERA. The Rockies are the 1 NL west team that Lucchesi hasn’t struggled against. The Padres are in desperate need of a long outing by the southpaw. Here’s the keys to the game.
Pound the strike zone early and often
Lucchesi can’t afford to get behind hitters. At times he can be a nibbler. He has a tendency to fall behind and throw a lot of pitches. He’s averaging 17 pitches per inning. On a day like today, he’ll need to throw strikes and induce ground balls early in the count if there any hope of him pitching through the 7th for just the 2nd time in his career. (Over 33 career starts, he’s completed 7 innings just once). If they can get the ball to Stammen and Yates with a lead, it’s game over. Getting there is the adventure.
Myers need to mash
In 64 career games against Colorado, Myers owns a .317 average with 17 HR’s and 44 RBI. He also owns a 1.017 OPS. Oh, and a paltry .348 average at Coors Field. For the record, these are better than his splits vs ANY other team AND stadium. This makes his absence from last nights lineup even more puzzling, but we’re sure that will change tonight. If Myers can provide a jolt to a struggling Padres lineup, they’ll have a great chance to take game 2 and go for a series win Sunday.
Hit with runners in scoring position
As lobsided as Friday nights game was, the Padres had plenty of opportunities to score. All told, they left 22 men on base. They were 2-11 with RISP. The team has actually left the fewest runners on base per game in the NL this year. Of course, they’re also one of the worst in the majors in on base percentage, so there’s that. The team doesn’t have a shortage of good, patient hitters. Kinsler, Hedges and Myers collectively have been the worst of the bunch. If they’re in the lineup, odds are at least one will need to come through in a big spot.
Let’s hear your thoughts and comments below!