Vince Velasquez, Phillies attempt to complete sweep of Padres

MLB

While the host Philadelphia Phillies have a chance to celebrate a series sweep on July 4, the San Diego Padres will be looking to break even on another disappointing road trip.

Left-hander Blake Snell (3-3, 5.29 ERA) will start for the Padres after missing a start due to illness while Vince Velasquez (3-2, 4.22 ERA) will open for a Phillies team seeking their first series sweep since it took four straight from the Milwaukee Brewers (May 3-6).

“We’re playing with a little momentum,” said Phillies manager Joe Girardi after his club came from behind Saturday to defeat the Padres 4-2.

As for the Padres, they’re just looking to get off the road and back to the friendly confines of Petco Park, where they are 30-15. On the road, the Padres are 19-21 and have lost three straight.

“We’ve got to play better on the road,” said Padres manager Jayce Tingler, whose team was 1-5 on its last trip away from San Diego. A 2-4 record on this trip to Cincinnati is not what Tingler was expecting after a 9-1 homestand.

And the Padres’ hopes for a break-even trip rest with Snell, who is 0-3 in eight road starts this season with a 10.36 ERA. Opposing hitters are batting .328 against Snell on the road this season, where he has a 2.233 WHIP. At home, Snell is 3-0 with a 1.43 ERA in seven starts. On the road, he has given up 33 runs on 40 hits and 24 walks with 35 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings over eight starts.

Snell had been scheduled to pitch twice on this last road trip before the All-Star break, but was scratched in the series opener in Cincinnati due to an illness that was not COVID-related. “He started feeling better Wednesday and cleared the MLB protocols today,” Tingler said.

While Snell missed his last start due to illness, Velasquez is coming off his sharpest outing of the season — blanking Miami on two hits and no walks with seven strikeouts in seven innings.

“Vince has pitched very, very well,” Girardi said. “He’s been really impressive at times.”

Velasquez has been very impressive against the Padres.

In four previous appearances (three starts) against the Padres, Velasquez is 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA, a 0.574 WHIP and a .132 opponents’ batting average. In 22 2/3 innings, Velasquez has given up three runs to the Padres on 10 hits and three walks with 30 strikeouts. That is a 10-to-1 strikeout-to-walk average compared to a 2.15-to-1 mark this season.

Of course, Velazquez hasn’t faced the Padres since 2019. In 16 outings (12 starts) this season, Velasquez has given up 31 runs (30 earned) on 49 hits and 33 walks with 71 strikeouts in 64 innings for a 1.281 WHIP and a .208 opponents’ batting average.

Snell has a 1.553 WHIP this season and a .242 opponents’ batting average. He has 90 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings for an average of 12.2 per nine innings. But he has also issued 40 walks with a 2 1/4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. On the road, that ratio is 1.46-to-1.

One thing the Padres won’t be missing from this road trip is rain. There have been six rain delays in the first five games totaling six hours and 39 minutes.

–Field Level Media

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