Saturday, October 2, 2010
Padres refuse to lose
The San Diego Padres refuse to go away.
Bud Black's team trails the San Francisco Giants by one game in the National League West and is tied with the Atlanta Braves for the wild card.
That leaves three teams for two playoff spots heading into the final day of the regular season, and four different scenarios for Sunday.
Scenario One: Padres Lose, Braves Win
• Giants win the NL West.
• Braves win the NL Wild Card.
• Padres are eliminated.
Scenario Two: Padres Win, Braves Win
This creates a three-way tie for two playoff spots:
• Padres and Giants would play a one-game tiebreaker on Monday in San Diego, and the winner is the NL West champion.
• Loser of the Padres-Giants game travels to Atlanta and plays the Braves on Tuesday. The winner advances to postseason as the wild card.
Scenario Three: Padres Win, Braves Lose
• Padres win NL West based on head-to-head tiebreaker with Giants.
• Giants win wild card.
• Braves are eliminated.
Scenario Four: Padres Lose, Braves Lose
• Giants win NL West.
• Braves and Padres play one-game tiebreaker in Atlanta on Monday. The winner advances to postseason as the wild card.
The Padres send rookie Mat Latos to the mound, who is 0-4 with a 10.13 ERA in his last four starts. In those starts, his curveball has been getting raked. Latos is leaving 64 percent of them in the strike zone, and opponents are 9-for-16 when his curveball finds the strike zone. The inability to get hitters out with the curveball has rendered his fastball less effective. In the last four starts, opponents have swung at 51.3 of his fastballs and are hitting .400. Batters are hitting .417 over the last four games when Latos has been ahead in the count.
Jonathan Sanchez is on the mound for the Giants. He has a 1.16 ERA in his last six starts. He's 0-3 this season against the Padres, but has a 2.59 ERA. His changeup has been unhittable in his last six starts -- opponents are 2-for-21 against it. This season, the Padres are hitting .127 against Sanchez with nobody on base, and are 3-for-49 with two strikes. Sanchez has put the Padres away with two-strike fastballs: San Diego hitters are 0-for-26 against that pitch from Sanchez this season.