Monday, June 6, 2016

Series Preview: Braves v Padres June 6-8, 2016

The Padres are 23-35
The Braves are 16-40

I could leave it at that, point out 2 of the games start at 10PM Eastern time, and call it a day. Alas, I have my integrity to at least give you the full monty you came here to see in a regular preview. No, not that full monty, you dirty birds. Getcha minds out of the gutter. On to the matchups!

Game 1 - Perez v. Friedrich
Game 2 - Blair v. Rea
Game 3 - Teheran v. Pomeranz

I've heard of one of these guys, and that's Pomeranz. I knew next to nothing about them as pitchers (probably like most of you) so I did some look at the scouting reports. Christian Friedrich is a 3 year vet out of Eastern Kentucky university, he's a tall 6'4" lefty that used to pitch for the Rockies. Oddly he was claimed off waivers by the Angels, but sent BACK to the Rockies over an undisclosed medical issue, and the Rockies released him outright. The Padres then picked him up in the offseason on a minor league deal and promoted him to the MLB level in May.

Friedrich has only pitched in 4 games this year, 21.1 innings with a 2.53 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP. The ERA and the WHIP are wildly out of whack, because for that many baserunners you'd expect a guy to get dinged more with runs. But the issue for Friedrich is that he's extremely wild. In those 4 games he already has 14 walks to 15 strikeouts. That kind of ratio is impossible to win with long term. This guy is begging to get lit up at some point, and the only reason he hasn't so far is he's played strugglebus teams like Arizona and Milwaukee. Oh and us next. We're certainly struggling.

Friedrich was a first round pick in 2008, which is kind of shocking because those picks usually pan out well. He hasn't. Elbow issues plagued him in the minors. He's got a low 90s fastball, with a curve and slider combo, in addition to changeup. Right now he's throwing none of them in the zone effectively, but he is managing to get hitters out when he needs to. If I'm scouting the guy, I'm telling my hitters to be extremely patient as this guy is all over the place, and let him make a mistake with a hanging pitch you can golf into next week.

Colin Rea is in his second season for the Padres, with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. He's also a little wild with 23 walks in 55 innings, but he has 39 Ks to go along with it, so the potential for strikeout stuff is there to get him out of innings. However, his last four outings have been pretty awful with a combined 15 earned runs in almost 20 innings. He throws a 91-93 mph fastball with a changeup and cutter combination. He's also pretty tall as well at 6'5", so you'd expect him to have a little more of a power pitching game, but his homer rate has gone way up this year 1.0 per 9 innings, and his walks have been an issue while his strikeouts have decreased. Then again, he's facing Aaron Blair who is ANYTHING but consistent lately, so this game could get ugly in an infinite amount of ways.

Drew Pomeranz is a 5 year vet out of Ole Miss that the Braves oddly only faced once back in 2012. He's easily the Padres best starter with his 2.22 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, and he's ANOTHER tall lefty at 6'5" that can throw hard for strikeouts. It's like the Padres don't want any pitchers under 6'3" on their roster. Geez, you freaking heightists. Anyway Drew's going to live around 92 mph on his fastball which he'll throw about half the time. But the real key for Pomeranz is the use of his curve this year, which he's throwing at at rate of about 40%. That's pretty often for a curveball. And the Braves should definitely be on the looking for that pitch when he's got them in 2-strike counts.

CPA Predictions:

The CPA went 2-1 this weekend and only lost because it thought the Braves would win game 3. Hahaha, no. We got smoked for 12 runs. Can't predict that. Anyway, it's 24-26 on the season and catching back up to .500 ball. Let's get em this weekend.

Game 1 - Padres by 2
Game 2 - Padres by 3
Game 3 - Padres by 1

Yeah the CPA thinks we're getting swept on the road trip. That's cheery news. I won't stay up late enough to watch the ends of these games, so I can hope it goes better, but to be honest I'm just waiting for them to come back home so we can get games at a decent hour again.

GO BRAVES!

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