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Padres host Cardinals, look to follow their example

Sat May 15 9:12am ET

The San Diego Padres are experiencing a taste of what the St. Louis Cardinals overcame in 2020 to reach the National League playoffs, where the Cardinals lost in the first round to the Padres.

Ten Cardinals players and eight staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in 2020. At one point, the Cardinals went 16 days without playing a game. They played 11 doubleheaders and a total of 53 games in 44 days to complete the season.

Currently, the Padres have five position players-- including regulars Fernando Tatis Jr., Wil Myers, Eric Hosmer and Jurickson Profar -- on the injured list with COVID-related issues. Overall, the Padres lead the major leagues in players on the IL this season.

"We respect what the Padres are dealing with," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said before the Cardinals arrived in San Diego for a three-game series that continues Saturday night.

And Padres manager Jayce Tingler respects the Cardinals.

"We have a lot of great memories about our playoff series against St. Louis last year," Tingler said before the Padres won Friday night's series opener 5-4.

"This one now is different. We have five guys out. We're chipping together and looking to win a series. They are coming in playing arguably as good as anybody. They've played extremely well the past couple of weeks, winning series and they're doing it a bunch of different ways. They're certainly pitching and playing defense. They've got a very good lineup. It's a tough three-game matchup. Last year is last year."

And Saturday's matchup will pair right-handers Chris Paddack (1-3, 4.78) of the Padres and veteran Adam Wainwright (2-3, 3.80 ERA) of the Cardinals.

Paddack will be making his second start since returning from the injured list, placed there April 30 for undisclosed reasons. Last Sunday, Paddack held the San Francisco Giants scoreless on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts in three innings.

Before going on the injured list, Paddack had been struggling. He gave up 10 runs (eight earned) on 12 hits and a walk with 12 strikeouts over 10 1/3 innings in back-to-back losses.

This will be Paddack's third career start against the Cardinals. He is 1-0 over the first two appearances with a 0.93 ERA, holding St. Louis to two runs (one earned) on three hits and five walks with 12 strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings.

Meanwhile, the 39-year-old Wainwright has reinvented himself over the years while working with catcher Yadier Molina. He relies more now on command of his secondary pitches as the velocity had dipped.

But he will be seeking a third straight win Saturday night. Over his past two starts, Wainwright has given up five runs on 10 hits and six walks with 10 strikeouts in 14 innings. Over his seven starts of the season, Wainwright has given up 19 runs (18 earned) on 40 hits and 12 walks with 42 strikeouts in 42 2/3 innings.

Wainwright, who will be seeking his 170th career win Saturday, has a 7-4 record in 15 career appearances (12 starts) against the Padres. He has given up 24 runs (20 earned) on 73 hits and 20 walks with 82 strikeouts in 82 1/3 innings.

--Field Level Media

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