Max Scherzer and Colin Rea match up on Saturday as Padres face the Nationals at Petco Park, with the former looking to continue his June dominance and the latter attempting to rebound from his shortest start of the season.
Scherzer has posted a 1.23 ERA in three starts so far in June, holding opponents to a .156/.188/.273 triple slash, while striking out 28 batters and walking just three. In addition, the matchup seems to be a good one for him, as the Padres entered play Friday with a .228 team batting average against right-handed pitchers -- the worst mark in the National League.
Prior to Friday's games, right-handed pitchers had recorded 450 strikeouts against the Padres -- the fourth-most in baseball -- while Scherzer's 11.14 K/9 is the fourth-best mark in the league.
Rea's last outing saw him last just 2 2/3 innings against the Marlins, where he allowed eight runs (six earned) on nine hits. To be fair to Rea, he should have had an inning ending double play that would have gotten him out of the third inning, but he has also given up 14 earned runs in 15 innings this month.
Things to know about this game
• Melvin Upton Jr. has been given a lot of leeway on the bases this season, and he has taken advantage of it. Prior to Friday's games, Upton Jr. was tied for fifth in baseball with 15 stolen bases. He has been caught just four times -- good for a 79 percent success rate.
• Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos's .340/.390/.574 triple slash entering play Friday is the best in each category from a catcher this season with at least 100 plate appearances.
• Alexei Ramirez has by far the most experience facing Scherzer of any San Diego hitter, given their history in the American League Central. But that doesn't seem to have aided the 34-year-old shortstop in any quantifiable way. Ramirez has hit just .138 (8-for-58) against Scherzer with eight strikeouts and five walks.