(SportsNetwork.com) – The San Diego Padres get to unveil some of their new
faces on Thursday, as they kick off the home portion of their schedule with
the start of a four-game series against the defending world champion San
Francisco Giants at Petco Park.
San Diego, of course, completely overhauled its roster this offseason with the
additions of Matt Kemp, Melvin Upton Jr., Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Will
Middlebrooks, Derek Norris, James Shields and Craig Kimbrel among others.
The moves didn’t pay immediate dividends, as the Padres dropped two of three
to the Los Angeles Dodgers to start the season. San Diego dropped the rubber
match of that set, 7-4, on Wednesday, as Padres starter Andrew Cashner served
up three home runs to Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
“Tough night for (Cashner),” said San Diego manager Bud Black. “Adrian had a
big night. He’s locked in right now. It was Adrian’s night.”
San Diego will hand the ball to veteran right-hander Ian Kennedy on Thursday.
Kennedy enjoyed a solid season for the Padres in 2014, going 13-13 with a 3.63
ERA over 33 starts.
Kennedy has faced the Dodgers 17 times and is 5-7 with a 4.08 ERA.
Getting the call for the Giants on Thursday will be one of the few starters in
their rotation that is not injured, former two-time NL Cy Young Award winner
Nowhere near the dominant pitcher he once was, Lincecum won a rotation spot
this spring, despite pitching to a 5.95 ERA over 19 2/3 innings. That, of
course, follows a 2014 that saw him go 12-9 with a 4.74 ERA. Lincecum was
relegated to bullpen duty for part of last season and only made one postseason
appearance for the Giants.
With Matt Cain and Jake Peavy already on the shelf, the Giants may need
Lincecum to pick up more of the load than anyone had been anticipating at the
start of the season.
San Francisco, though, picked up a series win over the Arizona Diamondbacks to
start the season. On Wednesday, Casey McGehee hit his first home run as a
member of the Giants to help them defeat Arizona, 5-2.
Nori Aoki, Matt Duffy and Brandon Crawford each drove in runs for the Giants,
who are in the midst of a seven-game road trip.
Chris Heston (1-0), making his second career start, picked up his first MLB
win after going six innings and allowing two unearned runs with five