Jake Peavy wants another chance to beat the pitcher he grew up admiring.
Peavy grew up watching the Braves—and Smoltz, his boyhood idol—from his home in Mobile, Ala. The right-hander got a chance to start opposite the 39-year-old Smoltz when the Padres played the Braves in Atlanta on April 15.
However, the veteran got the better of Peavy (3-4, 3.77 ERA) in that game as the Braves won 2-0.
Smoltz (3-2, 3.47) threw a complete game, allowing only four hits. Peavy pitched well, giving up two runs and four hits in seven innings, but took the loss.
“I’ve got a score to settle,” said Peavy, who is 1-2 with a 3.91 ERA in four career starts against Atlanta. “Smoltzie was Smoltzie—he didn’t give us anything in Atlanta, and he’ll be tough to score against in our place. So I need to be on my game, obviously.”
Smoltz, who’s won his last two decisions, was also impressed with Peavy.
“He’s as nasty as they come,” said Smoltz, who is 13-8 with a 2.70 ERA in 32 career starts against San Diego.
The struggling Padres (23-21) could use a quality start out of Peavy.
From April 30-May 14, San Diego went 15-1 to move into first place in the NL West. The Padres have since lost five of six games to end a nine-game road trip, concluding with a three-game sweep at Seattle over the weekend.
San Diego is now tied for fourth place in a crowded NL West, two games behind the Colorado Rockies for the division lead.
“We got off to a great start on this road trip,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said after San Diego lost 10-8 to Seattle on Sunday. “But this is not the way we wanted to finish it.”
San Diego has won seven of its last eight at Petco Park.
The Braves (22-22) also need a strong performance from Smoltz.
After winning nine of 11 from May 7-18, Atlanta lost two of three in Arizona as it began a nine-game road swing.
The Braves did beat the Diamondbacks 2-1 on Sunday to avoid the sweep, but that improved their road record to just 10-16.
Reitsma, who has seven saves in 10 attempts and a 6.75 ERA, blew a save opportunity and took the loss in Friday’s 10-9 defeat to Arizona.
“I can see the pressure that’s on (Reitsma),” said McBride, who had one save last season. “It’s a tough job for him. You have a lot more respect for the guys in that role when you pitch in it a couple of times a year.”
Atlanta did receive some good news on Sunday when it learned catcher Brian McCann—injured in a home-plate collision on Saturday—might be out only a few days.
McCann, who leads the NL with a .350 batting average, originally thought he was headed to the disabled list, but said his left ankle sprain might be healed in a few days.
“It’s just going to be a day-to-day thing,” McCann said. “But I feel 100 percent better than I did.”
The Braves were swept by the Padres in a three-game set in their last trip to Petco Park last May.