The Padres and Giants didn’t play as scheduled on Saturday, the second of two games postponed in San Diego when a member of the San Francisco traveling party tested positive for COVID-19.
Instead, they played the waiting game, wondering if they’d take the field at Petco Park Sunday in a doubleheader Sunday. Finally, just before midnight local time on Saturday night, the teams learned they got the OK to play on Sunday.
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, the teams got the official word after COVID-19 testing done Saturday came back with all negative results. The newspaper, citing three unnamed sources, said the Giants believe the test that forced the postponements was a false positive.
The third game of the series will be played when the Padres visit San Francisco for the final three days of the regular season Sep. 25-27, but the teams can’t look past Sunday’s games, which are important to both.
The Padres (29-17) have won five straight games, having defeated the visiting Giants 6-1 Thursday night in the opener of the scheduled four-game series.
While the Padres sat idle, the Los Angeles Dodgers lost two straight games and four of their past six. The Dodgers still own the best record in baseball, but their lead over the Padres in the National League West is down to just three games, with the two teams scheduled to open a three-game series in San Diego starting Monday night.
Meanwhile, the Giants (22-22) are party to a six-team battle for the two wild-card berths in the eight-team National League playoffs.
The next two pitchers lined up for the Padres are right-handers Garrett Richards (2-2, 4.50 earned run average) and Dinelson Lamet (2-1, 2.24). Were both to pitch Sunday, that allows new Padre Mike Clevinger to face the Dodgers Monday night. It also would give Richards two extra days and Lamet an extra day’ of rest as the Padres enter the home stretch of the season.
However, with the showdown series against the Dodgers starting Monday, the Padres could push either Richards or Lamet back and make one of Sunday’s possible games a bullpen start. That would prevent the Padres from possibly needing a bullpen start in the third game of the Dodgers series.
The Padres had not announced their starting pitchers as of Sunday morning.
Richards was scheduled to start Friday night’s game against Giants’ right-hander Johnny Cueto (2-0, 4.56). That game was called an hour before the first pitch when the Giants got word of the positive test. Right-hander Kevin Gausman (3-2, 4.05) was scheduled to start Saturday night with right-hander Logan Webb (2-3, 5.23) the scheduled starter on Sunday. Each also would be working with extra rest.
The Padres have a 3-1 edge against the Giants this season and Lamet started the rubber match of their series at Oracle Park on July 30, giving up one run on four hits and four walks with seven strikeouts over five innings.
Both Cueto and Gausman started games for the Giants in that first Padres-Giants series.
Cueto started the middle game (which the Giants won) and allowed four runs on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. Gausman opened against Lamet and gave up three runs on six hits and no walks with eight strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
Richards and Lamet are each scheduled to make their 10th starts of the season.
–Field Level Media