Preview: Game #157, Diamondbacks @ Padres

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Will the D-backs offense show up today? Or will it still be circling the baggage carousel at San Diego Airport? The omens aren't looking good...

ari_medium

Wade Miley
LHP, 10-10, 3.75
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Tyson Ross
RHP, 3-8, 3.24

Diamondbacks line-up

  1. Adam Eaton, CF
  2. Willie Bloomquist, LF
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Martin Prado, 3B
  5. Miguel Montero, C
  6. Gerardo Parra, RF
  7. Chris Owings, 2B
  8. Didi Gregorius, SS
  9. Wade Miley P

Yesterday, I wrote about how the changes at Petco Park this year had apparently flipped the switch, and made it a lot tougher on right-handed batters than southpaws. That's particularly apparent if you look at the D-backs stats this season:

Split PA AB H 2B 3B HR BA OBP SLG OPS
2013 as RHB 145 130 26 8 0 1 .200 .262 .285 .547
2013 as LHB 107 95 19 4 0 4 .200 .276 .368 .645

Ouch. That does go a long way to explain why the team has struggled against the Padres. Collectively, over the seven games at Petco, both LHB and RHB are hitting exactly at the Uecker Line - and the right-handed bats, including Goldschmidt, Prado and Hill, who have almost 60 homers this season, have exactly one home-run in 130 at-bats there. Frankly, I'm quite surprised we scored as many as 22 runs over the seven games, given the paucity of the Diamondbacks' hitting. Last year, the split was much narrower: though left-handed batters still did outhit right-handers, it was by 24 OPS points, .691 to .667. So, it does seem the changes have hurt our right-handers more.

Among those with double-digit PAs in San Diego, Miguel Montero is the only one whom you could unequivocally saw has hit "well", being 5-for-17 with a double and two home-runs. Didi Gregorius and Cliff Pennington have been decent, at OPS's of .818 and .771 respectively (the latter boosted by last night's three-hit game). The rest, however? They start with Gerardo Parra, at a .607 OPS, and go down from there. Goldschmidt, Prado and Hill are a collective .143, having gone 7-for-49 this season, but A.J. Pollock, at 2-for-18, will probably be the happiest D-back on the current roster when the series is over on Thursday afternoon, and we see the last of San Diego.

Radical shake-up of the line-up tonight, with most of the names not having appeared yesterday - Eaton, Goldschmidt and Prado seem to be the only survivors from what I can see. Interesting to see Owings get another start at second-base: looks increasingly like the club is serious about possibly using him there. Or are they maybe just showcasing his ability to play there, for potential trading partners? Could be that, or there could be a plan to have him back-up both Hill and Gregorius in the middle infield next season. I guess we'll find out what happens to Owings over the winter.

This will be my last formal piece for a couple of days: I'm heading off to San Diego, so will be checking in from there as and when possible. But otherwise, you'll be left in the capable hands of the other writers and editors [well, except for 'charmer who is on her way to Europe about now]. Or, as one of said capable hands wrote, "Eelfest 2013 is a go." I'll be back on Friday, to pick through the smouldering remains of the 'Pit. :)

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