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Preview: Game #30, Diamondbacks @ Padres

Patrick Corbin will try to staunch the bleeding and keep the Diamondbacks over .500 this evening, as he goes up against the Padres at Petco.



Patrick Corbin
LHP, 3-0, 1.91


Clayton Richard
LHP, 0-3, 7.94

Diamondbacks Line-up

  1. A.J. Pollock, CF
  2. Martin Prado, 3B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Cody Ross, LF
  5. Gerardo Parra, RF
  6. Wil Nieves, C
  7. Josh Wilson, 2B
  8. Cliff Pennington, SS
  9. Patrick Corbin, P

So, Didi Gregorius is back on the roster, but he doesn't make it into the starting line-up today, Kirk Gibson preferring instead to stock the line-up with right-handers, against a southpaw pitcher who had a tough time of it so far this season. While Corbin is 5-for-5 in quality starts this season, Richard has managed that just once, pitching the minimum six innings, albeit while shutting out the Colorado Rockies at Petco and getting a no-decision on April 14th. On that basis, he seems the sort of pitcher we should be lighting up. However, the sporadic performance of the offense to date makes this far less of a sure thing.

It's interesting to see what difference the changes to the park have made, in terms of making Petco more hitter friendly. The fences have been pulled in by about 10 feet, for most of right-field, and also a small sliver in left-center [this image illustrates the changes quite nicely]. This has helped left-handed hitters enormously: last year, they slugged .341 in San Diego, and averaged a home-run about every 77 at-bats - there were only 30 HR hit by LHB at Petco all season. This year, they are slugging .463, largely because there have already been 15 homers in just 13 games and 369 ABs, by southpaw hitters - we saw three last night, by Miguel Montero, Parra and Yonder Alonso.

Whether this will keep up, it's hard to say, but it does seem Petco's reputation as a park where hitters go to die may be, at least somewhat a thing of the past. However, the changes don't seem to have affected how the park plays for right-handed batters: indeed, their SLG has dropped by 20 points. With both teams putting out left-handed starters, and thus showing line-ups heavily skewed towards right-handed bats, this evening's contest seems more likely to be a traditional, low-scoring Petco pitching match-up, rather than last night's slugfest. Going back to early 2008, only one of the previous 43 ARI-SD matchups in San Diego, saw more runs scored than the 13 from yesterday.