Pitching tonight will be Yu Darvish (1-1, 4.43) for the Padres vs. Zach Thompson (0-2, 10.80) for the Pirates. I wish they were all this easy.
In limited lifetime action vs. Thompson, San Diego’s roster is 6 for 17 (0.353) lifetime with a triple, home run, 4 walks and just 1 strikeout. Even Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove is 1 for 3 lifetime vs. him with a double. That’s crazy. I didn’t include his At Bats in the first stat I quoted (since pitchers no longer hit), but you get the point.
Conversely, the Pirates’ roster is just 11 for 56 (0.196) lifetime vs. Darvish. That’s bad. It gets worse. According to MLB Statcast, some of those hits were lucky. Using the expected batting average statistic (xBA), their xBA was only 0.154 in those at bats — 42 points below their actual batting average.
This year’s Padres are 12-8 (60%) vs. the First 5 Innings Run Line. When Darvish starts, they’re 2-1.
Meanwhile the Pirates are 9-10 (47%) vs. the First 5 Innings Run Line. When Thompson starts, they’re 1-2.
One last stat before I move to Leg 2: I noticed Pirates’ starter Zach Thompson has allowed a 1st inning run in 6 straight starts (including last season). It’s a trend ripe for reversal soon, but if he wants to keep it going tonight — I won’t be too mad.