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Preview: Game #67, Diamondbacks @ Padres

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After a dramatic series of games in Los Angeles, including two late comebacks, a brawl and extra innings, can this series possibly compete?

USA TODAY Sports

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Trevor Cahill
RHP, 3-7, 4.02
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Eric Stults
LHP, 5-5, 3.53

Diamondbacks Line-up

  1. Gerardo Parra, RF
  2. Willie Bloomquist, 2B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Cody Ross, LF
  5. Miguel Montero, C
  6. Martin Prado, 3B
  7. A.J. Pollock, CF
  8. Didi Gregorius, SS
  9. Trevor Cahill, P

Kirk Gibson is going to serve his one-game suspension tonight, so bench coach Alan Trammell will be acting as manager this evening. I'm tempted to go to Petco, sneak down to behind the Diamondbacks dugout and yell, "Look out! It's Mark McGwire!" when Trammell goes to home-plate to exchange line-up cards. Maybe we can have lucha McGwire Mask Day at Chase some time, complete with veins standing out in the neck, and a bad case of bacne. Ok, just me then...

It's the Padres. About whom I probably care less than any other team in the NL West at the moment. They're not close enough currently to pose a threat to the Diamondbacks, and they're not the Dodgers [whom, I am pleased to see, are being beaten by the Pirates after six innings]. There's still vague feelings of disdain for their fans, the result of some incident in the past, but I can't quite remember what it is. I think it had to do with Conor Jackson being hit, and since he has now retired from baseball, it seems kinda pointless to hold a grudge based on that. Still, affer the LA series, not averse to a low-impact week of games, let my adrenalin recharge a bit.

First time Cahill has faced San Diego this year. He saw them three last season, going 1-2 with a 4.60 ERA, though his last outing was his most successful, getting the win as he allowed two runs over six innings. Cahill has actually pitched a little better at Chase than elsewhere, with an ERA just below four in his eight home starts. The main factor helping, is that he has been really good at keeping the ball in the park, with only two home-runs allowed in 47.2 innings here. He has also struck out a lot more people, with a K rate in Phoenix of 7.7, compared to only 2.7 everywhere else. See how that holds up, and whether Petco is as homer-friendly for left-handers as last time.

We did see Stults in May when the Padres came to visit, and tagged him with the loss, Arizona scoring all five of their runs in the seventh inning on the way to a 5-2 victory. It was one of those contests where we spent most of the early frames fulminating at our inability to get anything done against Stults; worth remembering, if we don't get to him immediately again this evening. Elsewhere in the NL West, the Giants are up 3-0 on Atlanta, where Madison Bumgarner has a perfect game through 12 outs, while the Rockies are hosting the Phillies, and that has just got under way in Denver.