|Padres leave high-octane series behind to face Brewers|
Padres pitcher Joey Lucchesi has at least one thing going for him Monday night as he opposes the Milwaukee Brewers in the opener of a short three-game homestand at Petco Park.
He didn't pitch in the Padres four-game series at Coors Field in Colorado. And he is the only member of the Padres' entire pitching staff who can say that.
While the Padres rallied from deficits of seven runs Friday and five runs Sunday to split the record-setting series, Padres pitchers did allow 48 runs on 69 hits in the four games. The bullpen covered 24 2/3 of the 37 innings in the series. The teams combined for a staggering 92 runs.
"We came back strong and won two games in this series," Padres manager Andy Green said Sunday afternoon. "But the bullpen has been taxed."
Yet it was the bullpen that came to the Padres' rescue. Left-hander Brad Wieck, who joined the Padres Sunday morning from Triple-A El Paso, pitched a perfect seventh inning. Gerardo Reyes pitched a perfect eighth, leading into the Padres' four-run ninth that overcame a 13-10 deficit. And Kirby Yates pitched a perfect ninth to record his 24th save.
All total Sunday, Padres relievers retired the last 11 Rockies batters they faced after Colorado had gone 19-for-35 through the first 5 1/3 innings.
Which brings the Padres back to the left-handed Lucchesi, who will take a 5-4 record and a 4.11 ERA over his first 13 starts into his second career meeting against the Brewers. Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (3-7, 5.74 ERA) will be making his 13th start for the National League Central leaders.
Returning to Petco Park might be what Chacin needs as much as what the entire Padres staff needs.
The 31-year-old Chacin was 0-2 in his past two starts with a 12.91 ERA - giving up 11 runs on 13 hits and seven walks against eight strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. Hen then hit the 10-day injured list with a llower back strain but is expected to be activated Monday.
Chacin was 13-10 with a 3.89 ERA in 32 starts for the Padres in 2017. And his career numbers at Petco Park are exemplary. Chacin has a career 11-4 record at Petco Park with a 2.28 ERA in 21 games (19 starts). He is 7-2 against the Padres in 16 appearance (12 starts) with a 3.52 ERA, a 1.213 WHIP and a .241 opponents' batting average.
"It's a great place to pitch," Chacin said of Petco Park toward the end of the 2017 season as he made an unsuccessful pitch for the Padres to retain him as a free agent. "The mound is always good and retains its shape during the game. Plus, it is never too hot."
Monday night figures to be a comfortable evening as the Padres return home in hopes of reversing their early-season 18-20 record in their own ballpark. The Padres struggles at home are a major reason why they have slipped from second to fourth in the National League West standings.
The Padres have won four of Lucchesi's last six starts as he has allowed 13 runs on 22 hits and eight walks with 37 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings of that stretch. He has lowered his ERA from 5.00 to 4.11.
More importantly, when it comes to the Padres' immediate needs, Lucchesi pitched into the seventh inning in three of those six starts.
"We need Joey to go deeper Monday," Green said
--Field Level Media