(Photo credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)
The San Diego Padres are finishing the 2023 season the way manager Bob Melvin hoped they would -- and are winning.
The Colorado Rockies are finishing the 2023 season the way manager Bud Black hoped they would -- and are losing.
Wednesday afternoon in San Diego, the Padres will go for a three-game sweep of the Rockies and a seventh straight win.
"Getting that one was big," Melvin said Tuesday night after Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run, walk-off homer to give the Padres a 2-0 win in a game that started with Cy Young Award candidate Blake Snell pitching seven no-hit innings.
"We answered every zero right to the last pitch," Black said. "I love the way we're competing."
But while the Padres (74-78) have won six straight games -- double their previous longest winning streak of 2023 entering this stretch of games-- and are 8-3 over the past 11, the Rockies (56-95) have lost three straight and are 8-20 over the past month.
Seth Lugo (7-7, 3.83 ERA) will start for the Padres on Wednesday while fellow right-hander Chase Anderson (0-5, 6.00) will go for Colorado.
But the matchup isn't as one-sided as it appears.
Like Snell on Tuesday, the 35-year-old Anderson pitched seven no-hit innings in his most recent outing last Friday against the San Francisco Giants, allowing one run on five walks with seven strikeouts.
And like Snell, who was at 102 pitches after seven no-hit innings Tuesday night, Anderson was at 101 pitches after seven innings against the Giants -- and that was the first time he reached triple digits in pitches since June 21, 2019. Plus, it was Anderson's third start since returning after missing eight starts due to right shoulder inflammation.
"I'm not going to risk Chase Anderson's career for a chance at a no-hitter," Black said.
Anderson was in agreement. Fast forward to Tuesday night, and Snell and Melvin agreed on the same point.
And while Anderson is 0-5 with the Rockies, Colorado is 7-8 in the 15 games he has started since he was claimed on waivers from Tampa Bay on May 12.
Anderson is 3-1 with a 3.88 ERA and 58 innings pitched in 10 career starts against the Padres. In four previous starts at Petco Park, Anderson is 1-0. However, he hasn't faced the Padres since Aug. 7, 2018, while with the Milwaukee Brewers, and he hasn't had a decision against San Diego since June 28, 2015.
The Padres are 10-14 in Lugo's 24 starts this season. Lugo has doubled the innings he pitched last year while working out of the bullpen for the New York Mets, and his 131 2/3 innings pitched are a career high. He has struck out 126, also a career-best tally.
Lugo will make his third start this season against the Rockies. He is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 14 innings against them this year, allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits and three walks with 16 strikeouts in 14 innings.
--Field Level Media