Mitchell hoping to take a step forward in start vs. Mets

SAN DIEGO — Things have not gone particularly well for Bryan Mitchell in his first season with the San Diego Padres.

In five starts, Mitchell has a 0-2 record and a 5.76 ERA. And things aren’t getting better. In his last three outings, Mitchell has given up 11 runs on 17 hits and 10 walks in 14 1/3 innings — although the most recent of those three outings was in the rarified air of Coors Field in Denver.

Still, Mitchell might not be the first choice to claim the rubber match of a three-game series, which is what the Padres will be asking of the right-hander Sunday afternoon against the New York Mets at Petco Park.

Mitchell will be opposed by Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler), who is also coming off a poor outing. On Tuesday in St. Louis, Wheeler gave up four runs on six hits and two walks in four innings.

Ironically, the Mets and the Padres rallied to win the last outings by Sunday’s starters. The Padres scored a 13-5 win at Colorado and the Mets defeated St. Louis 6-5 in 10 innings.

Historically, Mitchell has had no success against the Mets or in his new home.

He faced the Mets once in inter-league play while a member of the Yankees and allowed four runs on three hits and a walk without retiring a batter.

Mitchell has made three starts at Petco Park — all this season as a Padre — and is 0-2 with a 7.07 ERA. He has pitched 14 innings and allowed 11 runs on 17 hits and 11 walks with six strikeouts. For those keeping track of WHIPs — that is an average of two baserunners per inning in a place known as a pitcher’s park.

Wheeler has made three career starts against the Padres and has a 0-1 record with a 3.38 ERA.

But in two starts at Petco Park, Wheeler has allowed only two runs in 12 innings (a 1.50 ERA) with 19 strikeouts. His single-game, career-high of 12 strikeouts came against the Padres at Petco Park on Aug. 15, 2013. On July 20, 2014, he allowed one run over six innings at Petco Park while striking out seven.

Wheeler is 1-1 this season with a 4.24 ERA in three starts. He has allowed eight runs on 15 hits and six walks with 12 strikeouts in 17 innings.

After facing left-handed starters in the first two games of the series, the Mets will see a right-hander in Mitchell on Sunday, meaning former Padre Adrian Gonzalez could be getting a start at first base. Gonzalez, a native of San Diego County, played for the Padres for five seasons from 2006-2010 and hit .288 with 161 home runs and 501 RBIs. He ranks second among the Padres all-time leaders in homers and fourth in RBIs.

One starter most likely absent for the Padres will be right fielder Wil Myers, who suffered a left oblique strain while hitting in the fourth inning of the Padres’ 12-2 win Saturday night. He left the game in the middle of an at-bat and is likely to go on the disabled list.

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