Reds vs. Padres: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 17: Jonathan India #6 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a two-run home run during the ninth inning. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 17: Jonathan India #6 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a two-run home run during the ninth inning. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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Tommy Pham #28 of the San Diego Padres slides into second base with a double ahead of the throw to Jonathan India #6 of the Cincinnati Reds.
SAN DIEGO, CA – JUNE 20: Tommy Pham #28 of the San Diego Padres slides into second base with a double ahead of the throw to Jonathan India #6 of the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

The Reds’ backstops will be tested in this series.

To say the Padres like to run is like saying the Roadrunner enjoys stretching his legs. Entering play today, San Diego has swiped 73 bases in 92 attempts. The next closest club in the thievery department in the senior circuit is the Miami Marlins, with 50 stolen bases.

For comparison’s sake, the Reds have been caught stealing 16 times in 57 fewer attempts than the Friars. Outfielder Tommy Pham and infielder Fernando Tatis Jr. have combined to steal 27 bags in only 32 chances.

It will be imperative for the Cincinnati pitching staff to limit the traffic on the basepaths because the numbers suggest it will be a mismatch for the Reds catching crew. Redleg backstops Tucker Barnhart and Tyler Stephenson have nailed just 18% of would-be base stealers, which is well below the 26% league average.

While the Padre position players are busy running all over the basepaths, the San Diego pitching staff have ensured opposing hitters travel a short distance. Friar hurlers have fanned 800 batters, placing them second among NL staffs.

The Reds learned firsthand how devastating Padre pitching can be. Cincinnati batters whiffed 36 times during the four-game set at Petco Park, including a staggering 15 punch-outs in the June 18th defeat.

Starters Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove both reside inside the top 15 in strikeouts in the National League; however, racking up K’s have not been limited to the rotation. San Diego relievers are second, with 364 strikeouts. Right-hander Craig Stammen is tied for third in the senior circuit among relievers fanning 48 hitters.