|Giants need win over Padres, help to make postseason|
The San Francisco Giants will turn to left-hander Drew Smyly on Sunday afternoon as they split time between their own game against the visiting San Diego Padres and scoreboard-watching.
The Giants (29-30) lost control of their own playoff destiny when a 6-2 loss to the Padres on Saturday, combined with Milwaukee's 3-0 win over St. Louis, allowed the Brewers (29-30) to draw even in the duel for the NL's second wild-card spot.
The Padres (36-23), who have clinched the No. 4 playoff spot in the NL, are expected to start rookie left-hander Adrian Morejon (2-2, 4.86 ERA) in a game in which staying healthy will be the top priority.
Another Brewers win over the Cardinals (29-28) on Sunday and a San Francisco loss would assure both Milwaukee and St. Louis wild-card spots ahead of the Giants by virtue of a new tiebreaker that compares records within your own division.
San Francisco can still get in with a win over the Padres and a Cardinals win over the Brewers.
If the Giants come up short, they can blame the Padres, who not only have dealt San Francisco key defeats in their last two meetings, but also own a 7-2 dominance in the season series.
San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler walked off the field Saturday believing the Giants had given the Padres an unnecessary boost when Mauricio Dubon, with his team trailing 3-0, was thrown out trying to steal third base in the fifth inning.
"He just made a mistake at a critical time," Kapler said afterward. "It's a really bad baseball play. It's a bad baseball play because there's a tiny, tiny bit of upside and there's a ton of downside. We have been winning games by having big innings, and that had a chance to be a big inning."
Smyly (0-0, 3.38) will be making his fifth start of the season, with the Giants having won each of the first four. He pitched more than four innings in just one of those, a no-decision his last time out on Sept. 22.
The 31-year-old worked four innings in relief in a 6-1 loss at San Diego earlier this month, limiting the Padres to two runs (one earned) and two hits. He served up a home run to Jorge Ona in the game.
Smyly is 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA in two career meetings against the Padres, including one start.
Even if the Padres rest key players, one guy Smyly can expect to see is Wil Myers, who sat out Saturday with quad tightness. Padres manager Jayce Tingler said he'd like to get his slugger one more tune-up for the postseason.
"He feels significantly better," the manager reported Saturday. "We're going to stick to the plan, and the plan was to have a treatment day and continue to treat that quad with the idea of getting him out there (Sunday), getting some at-bats and getting going."
Morejon was credited with a win when he came on in relief and got five outs, allowing two hits but no runs, in a 6-1 win over the Giants earlier this month.
The 21-year-old Cuban also faced the Giants once as a starter last season. He's 1-0 in his career against them with a 5.40 ERA.
--Field Level Media