Before discussing Friday night's opener of a three-game, weekend Giants-Padres series at Petco Park in San Diego, let's go back to July 1.
San Francisco opened a three-game series at Petco Park on that night, as well.
Going into the opener of that series, the Padres were 42-41 and in third place in the National League West. At the time, the Giants were 36-47 and last in the division.
Now, fast forward to Friday night. The Giants are 52-51. The Padres are 48-54. Let's do the math.
The Giants swept the Padres July 1-3, outscoring their in-state rivals 30-11 in the series. Starting with the opener of that series, the Giants have gone a major league-best 16-4, inserted themselves into the wild-card race and muddled their buy-or-sell scenario as the trade deadline approaches.
The Padres are 6-13 since July 1. Not only have they lost seven straight home games in that time, but they finished a 3-6 road trip Thursday afternoon by getting shut out by the Mets at Citi Field in New York.
So, in a strange scheduling quirk that has San Francisco playing in San Diego for the second time in a span of four weeks, the Giants return to the launch pad of their recent run while the Padres hop on a cross-country flight back home hoping to reverse their recent history.
"We've got to start winning at home," San Diego manager Andy Green told reporters while the Padres were losing three straight games at Petco Park to the Atlanta Braves coming out of the All-Star break. "These games are important."
Meanwhile, Bruce Bochy knows the next three days at Petco Park will be tinged with nostalgia and emotion. This is the last time Bochy, who is retiring after this season, will be managing the Giants in San Diego ... where he managed the Padres for a dozen seasons before becoming the Giants manager in 2007.
Although he will eventually go into the Hall of Fame as the Giants manager, Bochy was in the Padres family for 23 straight seasons as a player, minor league coach and manager, major league coach, and finally manager of the big club. Under Bochy as manager, the Padres won the 1998 National League pennant and four division titles.
"Some emotions will be involved," Bochy said earlier this month as he looked ahead to this weekend's series. "It's my last trip to San Diego as the manager of the Giants. It's the only two teams I've managed since 1985."
The Giants will send right-hander Jeff Samardzija (7-8, 4.08 ERA) to the mound Friday night against Padres left-hander Joey Lucchesi (7-5, 4.27 ERA). Samardzija was the winning pitcher in the Giants' run-starting 13-2 win on July 1, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks with eight strikeouts in eight innings. Lucchesi did not face the Giants earlier this month.
Samardzija, 34, has a 9-3 career record against the Padres with a 3.38 ERA, a 1.143 WHIP and a .227 opponents' batting average in 19 appearances (17 starts). He has struck out 108 Padres in 112 innings. At Petco Park, Samardzija is 5-2 with a 2.42 ERA, a 0.932 WHIP and a .194 OBA in 10 games (nine starts).
Samardzija will be making his 21st start of the season. He is 2-0 with a 2.59 ERA in his last five outings against the Padres.
Lucchesi, 26, will be making his fourth start against the Giants this season. He is 2-2 in five career starts against the Giants with a 4.44 ERA, 1 1.291 WHIP and a .265 OBA.
--Field Level Media
Surging Giants return to San Diego in Bochy's final trip to Petco
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