The Phillies are getting their late night Petco Park visits in just before season's end, which is great news for anyone who is looking to watch the 2014 Phillies while also losing sleep.
In three starts after 10 p.m. EST, and one a teensy bit earlier, the Phillies will face a Padres team that has acted as padding from the true bottom of the league all season long. San Diego is last in MLB in runs scored (481), as well as the only team to not have broken 500 yet. They are last in hits with 1092, the only team to not have broken 1100 yet. They're last in doubles (203), OPS (.630), BA (.225), and TB (1654). Jeff Francouer was in this outfield at one point this season (he went 2-for-24 with a pair of singles).
But the Padres do dominate the league in one thing: Placing last in statistical categories.
We're just going to list the Padres with over 400 PA for the season. Smith is the most consistent Padre, walking out there with a bat 482 times in 2014. The results are a slash line of .268/.368/.448, and the team's sole .800+ OPS. But even he has not produced for a month and a half.
After that first inning strikeout, #Padres OF Seth Smith is hitting .206 in 107 at-bats since Aug. 1.— Corey Brock (@FollowThePadres) September 14, 2014
That said, Smith knows how to handle himself in left field, tied for the team lead in outfield assists with, uh, four.
Venable, I guess? He's hit six singles and a home run in the last four weeks. Also, he's out with back issues for a few days.
The Padres infielder is emerging as a sick stop artist. The 25-year-old is a cheap, reliable stopgap pretty much anywhere the Padres put him - SS, 3B, 2B, CF, or LF.
Of course he's hitting pretty much the same regardless of where he plays, anywhere from shitty to kind of less shitty. A sharp defender-type has value, but on a team where nobody else is hitting either, he winds up blending in. However, Amarista started to figure things out a bit; he improved in August to .276/.353/.316 from his awful April slash line of [ungodly screams].
San Diego's third base coach recently said of Amarista, "It's great to know you're covered at that position," which seemed to be referring to shortstop, so if the third base coach is to be believed, the Padres plan to hang on to Amarista. But I'm not sure Glenn Hoffmann carries that much authority.
Jerome Williams vs. Andrew Cashner
Cashner is tasked with getting the Padres' final home stand off on a good note, and should still be in a swell mood, given his recent 28th birthday. Hell, he was riding so high in his last start against the Dodgers that he kicked his f***** up Padres run support to the curb and punched in his own runs with a two-run RBI double. He's been rock steady the past month, successfully keeping that ERA around 2.50 for September and giving up only 27 hits, seven runs, and four walks in 25 IP.
And you guys want to talk about run support?
Andrew Cashner has a 1.92 ERA & .224/.269/.317 slash-line against over his last 22 starts; he is 5-9 in those starts, the #Padres are 11-11.— Ace of MLB Stats (@AceballStats) September 16, 2014
Jerome Williams had the rare pitcher's performance against the Pirates his last time out in which he was more effective at the plate than from the mound, knocking in two runs but allowing four. Williams had been holding opponents to two runs or less in four starts as a Phillie, but has allowed four runs in his previous two. Yes, it means something. I don't know. Maybe his fantasy team sucks.
A.J. Burnett vs. Ian Kennedy
Ian Kennedy continued his 2013 trend in 2014 of not being able to beat Los Angeles, until August 30, when he finally fueled a 6-3 win for their first defeat at his hands since September 2012. Then the Dodgers beat him 4-0 in his last start. In his only appearance against the Phillies this year, Kennedy blew up for five runs in seven innings. It was hilarious.
Some Burnett-resentment (Burnentment? No) came out of the woodwork this week, as it was pointed out that the Phillies paid him a giant sum of money, and in return he was not a spectacular pitcher for them. I mean, that's a description of a lot of pitchers, during this and many other seasons.
Better yet, we're nearing the ass-end of Burnett's career, probably, and when you consider the total amount of money he's made while never, say, making an All-Star roster. Well.
I feel pretty confident Burnett gets the last laugh.
Cole Hamels vs. Eric Stults
I know, I know - the guy who gets a neck injury really early in Anaconda and spends the whole movie in a brace pitches for the Padres now? Baseball is crazy!
I made the same mistake. Anyone would. But not, that's Eric Stoltz.
Stults, seen above being slowly swallowed by cackling, run support-denying nightmares, instead of a massive Amazonian serpent, gets the least amount of offense (2.84 runs) from his teammates of any pitcher in the sport. Prior to his last start, in which his mediocre second half success (3.66 ERA, 1.339 WHIP 40 SO in 59.1 IP) continued and the Padres gave him six runs to work with, the team was shut out in five of his 28 starts. He also leads the league in losses (16), which, you know, we've clearly proven are 100% his fault.
Cole Hamels, the Phillies' Eric Stults, probably looks across the field and shudders, realizing his own issues with run support - which I actually this past week had somebody tell me was the Phillies not scoring on purpose because they don't like him - were mere poor luck when compared to Stults' ongoing terror.
Hamels, besides being happy that the Phillies don't have to play the Nationals anymore, even though they've beaten them in five of their last six meetings, but whatever Cole, is fine.
Kyle Kendrick vs. Tyson Ross
The emotions of his potential good-bye to Citizens Bank Park behind him, Kendrick will be looking to maintain his dignity by throwing a clean nine innings with the benefit of a pitcher's park behind him.
jkjk he's going to get rocked for four home runs by the NL's worst lineup.
Poor, sweet Tyson Ross had to settle for the Hearth & Hustle Award this year, as opposed to his first ever All-Star appearance, which he lost to teammate Huston Street by being one of the many, many Padres hurlers to spend time on the disabled list this season. His ERA is still at a sexy 2.81 through 195.2 IP, but he was Kendrick'd in his last start, going a mere three innings and giving up six runs, five earned, to the guffawing Diamondbacks.
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