Peavy Throws For Pads
It's safe to say Jake Peavy has done his part to help the San Diego Padres follow up their best regular-season finish in nearly a decade. The team's offense, however, isn't cooperating.
The Padres look to snap out of their slump as Peavy takes the mound in the middle game of a three-game series against the Florida Marlins at Dolphin Stadium on Saturday.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made San Diego -152 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 8.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 72% of bets for this game have been placed on San Diego -152 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.
Peavy (3-1, 2.09 ERA) is near the top of the NL in ERA and strikeouts (38), and appears to be in good position to contend for his second consecutive Cy Young Award. San Diego (11-19), however, doesn't look as capable of matching last season's success.
After winning 89 regular-season games in 2007, the Padres have struggled offensively, batting .187 as a team during a 3-13 stretch that has left them with the worst record in the NL.
The Padres have lost Peavy's last three starts despite his 2.57 ERA in those games. They've given him only four runs of support spanning 21 innings in that stretch. In Sunday's 2-1 loss to Arizona, Peavy held the powerful Diamondbacks lineup to two runs and four hits while striking out nine in seven innings, but suffered his first defeat in seven decisions dating to September.
"We believe we have a good team. Obviously, we've got to get better in many different ways," Peavy told the Padres' official Web site. "It's very easy to get discouraged. We have enough firepower to score. Hopefully, our boys will get it rolling and get some confidence."
That hasn't happened yet, as the Padres have lost three of four since Peavy's last outing. They were held to seven hits in a 6-4 loss to the Marlins (16-13) on Friday night.
"It's not all going to fall into place in one night," San Diego third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff said. "We're still coming together as a team."
The Marlins used two homers and four RBIs from second baseman Dan Uggla to snap a season-high three-game skid, and are hoping to build on it as they face Peavy and future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux in the final two games of the series.
"It was a good win for us," Marlins outfielder Luis Gonzalez said. "This is going to be a tough couple games for us with Peavy and Maddux going for wins. Hopefully, with our aggressiveness and young guys here we can overcome that."
One of those young guys is shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who went 1-for-4 in the No. 3 spot in the batting order Friday - his first game out of the leadoff spot this season. Manager Fredi Gonzalez hopes moving Ramirez will help the team replace some of the power they lost when they placed outfielder Josh Willingham on the disabled list because of a lower back strain.
Ramirez, who batted .297 in the three hole last season while hitting .345 in the leadoff spot, said he's not going to alter his approach.
"I'm just going to stay the same," Ramirez told the Marlins' official Web site. "I don't think it is going to change my game. It doesn't matter. I just want to win as a team, it doesn't matter where I'm hitting."
Ramirez is 1-for-10 with three strikeouts in his career against Peavy.
The Marlins will send Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 5.13) to the mound. The right-hander limited Milwaukee to one run and two hits in five innings on Sunday, but didn't factor in the decision of Florida's 3-2, 10-inning victory.
Nolasco is 0-1 with a 4.70 ERA in two career games - one start - against San Diego.