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Game #82: Diamondbacks @ Padres

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The second half of the season gets under way tonight in San Diego, as the D-backs open their road-trip with the first of a three game set against the Padres.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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Brandon McCarthy
RHP, 1-10, 5.38
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Tyson Ross
RHP, 6-7, 3.22

Diamondbacks Lineup

  1. Ender Inciarte - CF
  2. Gerardo Parra - RF
  3. Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
  4. Miguel Montero - C
  5. Aaron Hill - 2B
  6. David Peralta - LF
  7. Martin Prado - 3B
  8. Didi Gregorius - SS
  9. Brandon McCarthy - P

The mystery wrapped in an enigma within a riddle which is Brandon McCarthy's 2014 season will roll on tonight. By W-L record, he's having a really sucky season. By ERA, it's fairly sucky. But the peripherals suggest... otherwise. His FIP is 4.08, with the second-biggest positive gap between that and his ERA in the majors [first, curiously, is ex-Dback Edwin Jackson]. And McCarthy's xFIP is sub-three, and in the top 10 for all qualifying pitchers. Let me repeat that. if McCarthy had allowed home-runs at the expected pace, and based on his K-rate and walk rate, he SHOULD be one of the best pitchers in baseball.

But if wishes were horses... I'm not sure I tend to the view that home-runs are entirely a matter of luck. Sometimes, bad pitches are made and get what they deserve. If you make more bad pitches, it seems logical to assume that more of them won't come back. Sure, sometimes you just have to tip your hat - however, McCarthy has been doing so much of that this season, he should probably attach a spring to his brim. But it's not all that. Even in the five games this year where he hasn't allowed a homer, McCarthy's ERA is still virtually at four. But at least he's pitching in Petco tonight, and his last start there brought him his only W this year.

Late change to the line-up tonight, with Chris Owings being replaced by Gregorius. Seems like Owings's shoulder is playing up, as was also the case over the weekend. Hopefully it won't become a significant issue,