The scenario couldn’t be better for the San Diego Padres on Wednesday afternoon.
The Padres will seek a second straight home series sweep as they oppose a Colorado Rockies team that is 2-16 on the road this season.
As if things couldn’t get any worse for the Rockies, they lost 2-1 Tuesday night on a walk-off wild pitch by closer Daniel Bard in the 10th inning.
The Padres have won five straight games and are 7-1 since losing five players, including four starters, to Major League Baseball’s COVID-19 protocols last week.
Jurickson Profar and Jorge Mateo returned from their COVID-related absences Tuesday, and Padres manager Jayce Tingler said he expects shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and first baseman Eric Hosmer to return to active status Wednesday.
Tatis and Hosmer might be back in action to face Rockies right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-1, 4.79 ERA) in the afternoon finale of a three-game series. Right-hander Joe Musgrove (3-4, 2.86) will start for the Padres.
“Let’s keep it rolling, it’s as simple as that,” Tingler said after his team’s Tuesday win. “Just in general, the guys are upbeat.”
Meanwhile, manager Bud Black continues to look for ways for the Rockies to snap out of their season-long road woes.
“We had opportunities tonight that we didn’t have Monday,” Black said. “But you can’t go 1-for-(13) with runners in scoring position and be successful. Our pitchers did a great job Tuesday.”
The latest role of stopper will fall to the 6-foot-3, 29-year-old Gonzalez, who has some troubling numbers this season: a 1.402 WHIP and a .285 opponents’ batting average.
In eight appearances (six starts), Gonzalez has given up 19 runs on 39 hits and 11 walks with 17 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings.
He will be making his first start against the Padres this season. Gonzalez owns an 0-1 career record against San Diego with a 7.43 ERA in four career outings vs. San Diego, three of them starts.
Gonzalez has been even worse in his two career starts in San Diego, one in 2019 and one in 2020. He went a combined 0-1 with a 15.19 ERA in those games, yielding nine runs and five walks in just 5 1/3 innings.
Meanwhile, San Diego County native Musgrove showed signs in his last outing of snapping out of his post-no-hitter funk. The right-hander had been 0-4 since throwing the first no-hitter in the Padres’ 53-season history on April 9 at Texas.
On Friday, Musgrove held the St. Louis Cardinals to one run on five hits and four walks with five strikeouts in five innings to get credit for the first of the Padres’ five consecutive wins. In his three previous outings, Musgrove had given up 12 runs (10 earned) on 15 hits — including three homers — and four walks in 13 innings.
After the no-hitter, Musgrove served up six home runs in a span of 24 innings before his Friday outing.
“It looked like Joe was getting back on track against the Cardinals,” Tingler said.
–Field Level Media