The San Diego Padres return home Monday night from a 6-3 road trip to host the Colorado Rockies in the opener of a three-game series that concludes the 2020 games between the National League West rivals.
And eight Padres will be visiting the home clubhouse at Petco Park for the first time as San Diego begins a 10-game homestand. The eight players were acquired through trades made by General Manager A.J. Preller on Aug. 30-31 while the Padres were on the road.
While the bolstered Padres could virtually clinch their first postseason berth since 2006 during this homestand, the next three days could be far more important to the Rockies, who are one of six teams battling for the final two National League playoff berths.
The Rockies come to San Diego off two straight wins at Dodger Stadium that have boosted them to .500 at 20-20. That would place them as the No. 7 seed if the playoffs began tomorrow. Unfortunately, the start of the playoffs is still 20 games away.
In the meantime, the Padres are 25-17 and hold a four-game lead over the Rockies in the battle for the No. 2 berth behind the Dodgers in the National League West.
“It’s going to be good to get home,” said Padres manager Jayce Tingler, whose club is 12-6 at Petco Park, where they play 12 of their last 18 games.
The series opens Monday night with right-hander Dinelson Lamet (2-1, 2.62 ERA) starting for the Padres against left-hander Kyle Freeland (2-1, 4.09 ERA) of the Rockies. Lamet didn’t face the Rockies in either of the two series played at Coors Field in Denver. Freeland faced the Padres in both series — going 1-0 and allowing four runs on 13 hits and a walk with six strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings.
Lamet, 28, has been the Padres’ toughest starter this season. Twice he has taken a no-hitter into the sixth. In his eight starts, Lamet has given up 14 runs (13 earned) on 27 hits and 15 walks with 57 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings. Working with a sharp slider and a plus-95 fastball, Lamet has a 0.940 WHIP and a .169 opponents’ batting average.
He has faced the Rockies three times in his career and has a 4.80 ERA and a 1.400 WHIP — allowing 11 runs (eight earned) on 13 hits and eight walks, with 18 strikeouts in 15 innings.
Freeland also is making his ninth start this season. He has allowed 20 runs on 51 hits and 11 walks with 28 strikeouts in 44 innings — for a 1.409 WHIP and a .295 opponents’ batting average. He is 3-3 lifetime against the Padres in 11 appearances (nine starts). He has allowed the Padres 24 runs on 57 hits and 16 walks, with 43 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings with a 1.344 WHIP and a .273 opponents’ batting average.
The Padres took three of four from the Rockies at Coors Field Aug. 28-31. The Padres scored 47 runs on 79 hits in the series while batting .309 with a .351 on-base percentage and a .531 slugging percentage for a .882 OPS. The Rockies scored only 20 runs on 35 hits in the series as Padres pitchers posted a 1.02 ERA — the lowest by any staff in a series at Coors Field since 1995.
Rockies hitting leader Charlie Blackmon was 1 for 16 in the series. Trevor Story was 3 for 16. But Blackmon said he thinks the Rockies are turning it around.
“We have all the pieces,” Blackmon said over the weekend as the Rockies were taking the series at Dodger Stadium. “Lots of teams have all the pieces. But when guys get consistent and guys play well and certain areas of the Rockies game start to come on consistently, we’re going to be tough to beat.”
–Field Level Media