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Apr 2, 2024 9:51 am

Mike Shildt, Padres hope for better luck vs. Cards in rematch

Mike Shildt

Mike Shildt previously confronted his former team while serving as a coach to ex-San Diego Padres manager Bob Melvin most of the past two years.

But managing against the St. Louis Cardinals, who he guided to three straight playoff berths from 2019-21, for the first time on Monday night was something completely different.

“I was fortunate and blessed to be in that organization and they gave me the opportunity (to manage),” Shildt said before San Diego’s 6-2 loss to St. Louis on Monday. “I always wanted to be respectful of how I carried myself on the field and away from the field.”

Shildt hopes to beat his old team for the first time as a manager on Tuesday night in the middle contest of a three-game series in San Diego.

The Cardinals made their former manager’s night pretty miserable in the series opener, taking a 3-0 lead in the first inning and staying in control throughout, thanks to a well-pitched game by Kyle Gibson and an excellent performance by leadoff man Brendan Donovan.

Gibson lasted seven innings, allowing just two runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts in an efficient 94-pitch outing. Donovan sparked the offense by going 3-for-4 with three runs and a two-run homer in the sixth that gave St. Louis an insurmountable 6-1 lead.

“When we’re working at-bats, working counts and playing good, clean baseball, we have a chance to be good,” Donovan said.

Coming off losing three of four in a season-opening series at the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cardinals certainly looked like the team Donovan described. They rapped out 14 hits and played sparkling, error-free defense.

They’ll look to repeat that performance with another veteran right-hander, Miles Mikolas (0-1, 10.38 ERA), taking the mound. Mikolas was roughed up in a 7-1 loss Thursday against the Dodgers, yielding five runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings with two walks and five strikeouts.

But he’s enjoyed success against the Padres, the team that gave him his MLB start in 2013. Mikolas is 2-2 with a 2.48 earned run average in six career starts against them, averaging just over six innings per start.

San Diego will counter with its ace, right-hander Yu Darvish (0-0, 1.04 ERA), who will make his third start of the young season. In his most recent appearance, Darvish lasted five innings Thursday in a 6-4 win over the San Francisco Giants, permitting one run on five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.

Darvish has pitched well in eight career starts against St. Louis, although without much luck in the win column. He’s 2-3 with a 3.12 ERA, fanning 62 batters in 52 innings and allowing just over a baserunner per inning.

The Padres could use a long start from Darvish. They haven’t had a starter last longer than Joe Musgrove’s 5 2/3 innings on Friday night in an 8-3 loss to San Francisco. And their past three starters haven’t made it out of the fifth inning, forcing the bullpen to cover more than half the outs.

–Field Level Media

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