The deciding contest of three-game series have proved difficult thus far this season for the upstart San Diego Padres.
They play another one Sunday afternoon as the Padres host the Arizona Diamondbacks at Petco Park for the final time the shortened 60-game season.
The Padres are 5-0 in series openers this season. Saturday night they fell to 1-4 in the second game of series after a 3-2 loss to the Diamondbacks. And they have lost their last two rubber matches, to the Dodgers and Rockies.
“We’re doing good at winning the first games of series,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said. “But to be a winning team, you have to win series. We haven’t cashed in our chances.”
To win this series, the Padres will have to again beat Madison Bumgarner on Sunday. But the MadBum of 2020 is not the MadBum who dominated the Padres as a member of the San Francisco Giants.
Bumgarner is 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA in his first three starts with the Diamondbacks. On Sunday, he will be matched against Padres’ right-hander Dinelson Lamet (1-0, 1.72 ERA). Both starters have already faced the other team this season.
Lamet held the Diamondbacks to one run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts five-plus innings in the season’s second game. That was also the game that Lamet was credited with his lone win. He has pitched 15 2/3 innings this season, allowing four runs (three earned) on 11 hits and seven walks with 17 strikeouts. He has a 1.149 WHIP.
When the teams opened the season against each other July 24, Bumgarner gave up three runs on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as he lost a much-anticipated matchup against the Padres’ Chris Paddack. The Padres worked the count against Bumgarner, forcing him out after 100 pitches.
The Diamondbacks have to be concerned about Bumgarner’s first three starts in his five-season, $85 million deal.
Bumgarner has allowed 13 runs (12 earned) on 15 hits and six walks against 11 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings for a 1.370 WHIP. He is 119-94 over his 12-year career with a 3.16 ERA and a 1.113 WHIP.
Another concerning stat: Bumgarner has a career 4.16 strikeout-to-walk ratio. This year, that differential has shrunk to 1.83. Walks are up, strikeouts are down.
And velocity is down. His fastball has slipped from around 91 mph last year to 88 mph this year.
“But it’s not as much velocity as location,” Diamondbacks pitching coach Matt Herges said recently. “When the command and location returns, he’ll be the Bumgarner we’ve seen in the past.”
That Bumgarner dominated the Padres.
Bumgarner has a 13-11 career record against the Padres with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.034 WHIP in 37 appearances (36 starts). But since the start of the 2019 season, Bumgarner is 2-2 against the Padres with a 4.13 ERA.
“I liked the way we got his pitch count up the first time we faced Bumgarner this season,” said Tingler. “The way we were working the count, I think it frustrated him.”
–Field Level Media