Patchwork Padres look for series sweep of Cardinals

MLB Baseball

The San Diego Padres are still down four starting players to Major League Baseball’s COVID-19 protocols.

And Sunday, the patchwork Padres will be going for a three-game sweep of the National League Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals in San Diego.

“It was everybody,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said after the Padres blitzed the Cardinals 13-3 Saturday night to move to within a half game of the National League West-leading San Francisco Giants. “These last two nights have been overall team wins. I love the way we are competing — and it’s a lot of guys contributing.”

The Padres have had baserunners galore in the first two games of the series, drawing 12 walks Friday night and adding a season-high 17 hits Saturday.

The Padres are 4-1 since Fernando Tatis Jr., Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers, Jurickson Profar and Jorge Mateo went on the injured list.

The Padres go for the sweep Sunday evening in a nationally televised game in a clash of left-handers — the Padres’ Ryan Weathers (2-1, 0.81 ERA) going against the Cardinals’ Kwang Hyun Kim (1-0, 2.74 ERA). It could be a piggyback situation for the Padres with right-hander Dinelson Lamet following Weathers.

Weathers and Lamet teamed up on May 4 with Lamet starting. Weathers also piggybacked with Chris Paddack on May 9 when Paddack returned from the injured list.

After making three straight starts, Weathers made a pair of three-inning relief appearances and allowed a run on five hits and a walk with four strikeouts over the six innings. He has worked a total of 22 1/3 innings this season in eight appearance, giving up two runs on nine hits and seven walks with 20 strikeouts.

The 21-year-old Weathers has never faced the Cardinals.

If Lamet does follow Weathers, it would be his first relief appearance. He has made three, two-inning starts this season, allowing one run on six hits and two walks. The Padres have been cautious with Lamet, who was shut down early last season with a UCL strain in his pitching arm.

This will be the first time that the Cardinals’ Kim has pitched against the Padres in the regular season, although he made a start against the Padres in the 2020 playoffs. He allowed three runs on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. He did not get a decision.

But there will be another reunion tonight. Kim signed with the Cardinals out of the Korean League before the 2020 season. Before this season, the Padres signed versatile infielder Ha-Seong Kim, who has been starting at short in Tatis’ absence.

The Cardinals’ Kim, 32, is 4-0 with a save in the major lLeagues after posting a career 136-77 record in Korea. The Cardinals have won all five of his starts this season and Kim has given up just one run in each of his past four starts. In 23 innings, he has given up seven runs on 24 hits and five walks with 24 strikeouts.

“He’s a tough competitor,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said of Kim. “He makes quality pitches and battles. Every pitch has a purpose.”

–Field Level Media

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