With their season spiraling downward, the San Diego Padres don’t see a need in overexerting their staff ace.
San Diego (42-68) advanced to a one-game playoff against Colorado for the NL wild-card spot in 2007, but this season has been a disaster. The Padres have the second-worst record in the NL, and have dropped 12 of their last 17.
Considering the circumstances, San Diego manager Bud Black felt Peavy (8-6, 2.67 ERA), who was originally scheduled to start Friday, could use an extra day off after throwing a season-high 127 pitches in his last start.
Peavy, who has already spent a month on the disabled list with a strained right elbow, gave up one run and four hits with 10 strikeouts in seven innings of a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Black spoke about pushing Peavy’s start back with the right-hander and pitching coach Darren Balsley, and they “decided since Jake was coming off a physical performance, he could use the day off,” Black said.
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner returns to Petco for the first time since July 11. He will likely be excited to pitch at the spacious ballpark, as he leads the majors with a 1.45 home ERA.
This will be Peavy’s first start of the season against the Giants after posting a 1.33 ERA in winning his three starts against them last year. He is 3-1 with a 1.81 ERA in eight starts against San Francisco at Petco.
The Padres lost 3-2 Friday, as San Francisco pinch-hitter Eugenio Velez doubled in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning.
San Diego’s Adrian Gonzalez hit a tying solo homer in the eighth—his 26th of the season. Gonzalez is batting .346 (9-for-26) with four home runs, seven RBIs and nine runs in his last seven games, and is hitting .366 (15-for-41) with three homers and nine RBIs in nine games versus San Francisco this year.
While Gonzalez has had success against San Francisco this season, the Padres have dropped six of nine to the Giants this year after going 14-4 versus them in 2007.
San Francisco won for the sixth time in 20 games on Friday, and Fred Lewis’ sacrifice fly in the first inning snapped its string of 23 scoreless innings.
Barry Zito (5-13, 5.80) makes his first start 2008 start against the Padres Saturday as he looks to avoid setting a new career high for losses.
Zito was tagged for six runs, six hits and five walks in five innings of a 7-2 loss to Arizona on Sunday, his major league-leading 13th defeat of the season. The 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner matched his single-season high, set in 2005 and again last season.
In the midst of another disappointing season, Zito changed up his routine by throwing batting practice before Wednesday’s game at Dodger Stadium, instead of his usual bullpen session.
“It’s just more of a game-like atmosphere,” the left-hander told the team’s official Web site. “I think it’s always better to work on things with a hitter. You can see how they’re reacting to your stuff.”
Zito went 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA in four starts against the Padres last season, and is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in two career starts at Petco Park.