For the second straight day, Saturday afternoon’s game between the San Diego and National League West-leading Giants in San Francisco will feature a rematch of a pitching pairing from earlier this month.
And if history repeats, this one favors the Giants — who now hold a 1 1/2-game lead over the Padres in the division with the plummeting Los Angeles Dodgers another game back.
Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove (2-3, 2.38 ERA) will face Giants right-hander Kevin Gausman (2-0, 2.04 ERA).
The pair were matched last Sunday in San Diego, with Gausman having the clear edge over Musgrove in a 7-1 Giants win.
Gausman allowed one run on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts in six innings to get credit for the win. Musgrove — who pitched the first no-hitter in Padres history, and the first of four nine-inning no-hitters pitched this season in the majors — took the loss, giving up six runs (five earned) on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts in five innings.
“That was a very impressive outing,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said after Gausman’s second one-run outing against the Padres this season. “He got locked in quickly, and we gave him a nice lead.”
In his two outings against the Padres this season, Gausman has given up two runs on 11 hits and two walks with 11 strikeouts in 13 innings for a 1.38 ERA, a 1.000 WHIP and a .224 opponents’ batting average. Gausman is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA in four career starts against the Padres.
Meanwhile, each of Musgrove’s four starts subsequent to the no-hitter has seen his ERA rise. He went only four innings and allowed a run on four hits in his start following the no-hitter. In his next outing on April 19 against the Brewers, Musgrove had a career high 13 strikeouts but took the loss despite allowing only two runs (on a pair of solo homers) on four hits over seven innings.
He went only three innings in his next outing, throwing 77 pitches. Then came the outing against the Giants, which included a three-run homer by substitute right-fielder Mike Tauchman.
Musgrove is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in three career starts against the Giants.
On top of everything else, the Padres, who have been hit hard by injuries, saw two more players get hurt Friday night while the Giants were getting right fielder Mike Yastrzemski back from the injured list.
Right-handed Padres reliever Keone Kela departed Friday’s game with forearm tightness one hitter after serving up the eventual game-winning homer to Austin Slater. Kela had been activated from the injured list on May 2 after missing 10 days with shoulder soreness.
And catcher Austin Nola left the game with a swollen left hand after being hit by a pitch in the sixth inning. It was the same hand on which Nola suffered a broken middle finger during spring training, forcing him to miss the season’s first 25 games on the injured list.
While Buster Posey hit his eighth home run Friday night, the Padres had a pair of two-run shots by Trent Grisham and Eric Hosmer — possibly the sign that San Diego manager Jayce Tingler has been looking for as the end to his club’s prolonged offensive slump.
“There’s no doubt that there are areas we’re going to improve in,” said Tingler. “We’ve done a great job creating run-scoring opportunities and putting pressure on defense. If we can get some guys hot, particularly on fastballs in the zone, we have a chance to take some significant steps offensively.”
–Field Level Media