After starting the road trip strong with a four-game split against the Padres, Arizona collapsed over the final six games, getting swept in consecutive series by the Dodgers and the Giants. On Tuesday night, D-Backs starter Wade Miley was chased after just three innings, and former Diamondback Yusmeiro Petit put together his best start of the season in a 5-1 complete game victory. The bats would be shut down again on Wednesday, as Arizona only managed two hits in a 5-0 Giants win. Jake Peavy put together another strong start for San Francisco on Thursday, giving up just a run over 5.2 innings, giving the Giants a 6-2 win and the series sweep. Arizona has lost six in a row and eight of their last ten games, and are 59-87 overall, 24 games behind the Dodgers for first place in the NL West. They are tied with the Rockies for last place in the division.
Arizona's offensive production continues to drop, as they rank 29th in the majors in wRC+ (83) and 26th in offensive WAR (10.0), batting .246/.301/.376 with a .299 wOBA. They also rank 26th in baseball in wRAA (-51.9). Their pitching staff has struggled as well, ranking 25th in pitching WAR (4.17), 20th in FIP (3.87), and 25th in pitching WAR (9.6). They also have the fifth-highest BABIP in baseball (.308), and leave just 70.8% of runners on base.
San Diego might have the only offense in the majors that is worse than Arizona's, ranking dead last in wRC+ (79) and in offensive WAR (7.2), batting .224/.288/.339 with a .280 wOBA. They rank dead last (by a mile) in wRAA (-128.0), and are tied for dead last in ISO (.115). Their pitching staff is actually one of the league's best, ranking third in team ERA (3.24), fifth in FIP (3.49), and 22nd in pitching WAR (10.8). Their staff is skilled, ranking eighth in SIERA in the majors (3.55).
The Padres come into the desert following a 1-5 NL West road trip through Colorado and Los Angeles, and have won just three of their last ten games. They struggle on the road, where they are 27-47 this season. They're 67-78 on the season, 15.5 games behind Los Angeles for first place in the NL West. They are two games away from being eliminated from playoff contention.
On The Mend
According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, Diamondbacks left fielder David Peralta will undergo an MRI on his back on Friday. He is currently listed as day-to-day.
Padres right fielder Will Venable is day-to-day after leaving Wednesday night's game with a back strain, according to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
On Wednesday, the Diamondbacks were given the unique treat of being able to celebrate the births of a team legend, and perhaps a legend in the making in Randy Johnson and Paul Goldschmidt:
#51 turns 51 today. Happy Birthday to #Dbacks legend Randy Johnson! pic.twitter.com/ovnBCHpEyk— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) September 10, 2014
Birthday wishes to two great @Dbacks born a generation apart. America's First Baseman & The Big Unit. pic.twitter.com/N4xUhriVbg— Josh Rawitch (@joshrawitch) September 10, 2014
Johnson's impact in the desert goes far beyond his 2001 World Series co-MVP performance, or his 2004 perfect game. He gave the franchise a face during the prime of his career, forming one of the best one-two punches in recent memory with Curt Schilling during the best period in club history.
Goldschmidt, on the other hand, is in the midst of becoming a legend in his own right. Since being called up in 2011, 'Goldy' has emerged as one of the best first basemen in baseball, and even finished second in the NL MVP voting last season, losing only to Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen. While he is out for the season with a fractured hand, he is expected to return to the diamond in 2015, where he'll continue to mark his D-Backs legacy.
Game 1, Friday 6:40 PT: LHP Eric Stults (6-16, 4.55 ERA, 4.90 FIP) vs. LHP Vidal Nuno (2-10, 4.37 ERA, 3.81 FIP)
Stults ran into some bad luck against the Rockies in his last start, as he picked up the loss despite giving up just three runs over 6.1 innings. He has done a decent job against Arizona this season, posting a 3.97 ERA against them. Nuno was great again in his last start, but was saddled with yet another loss after giving up two runs over seven innings. He has a 3.16 ERA since being traded to Arizona, but has yet to pick up his first win in the Sedona red.
Game 2, Saturday 5:10 PT: RHP Tyson Ross (13-13, 2.66 ERA, 3.24 FIP) vs. RHP Chase Anderson (8-6, 3.71 ERA, 4.23 FIP)
Ross snapped his streak of 14 consecutive quality starts come to an end in his last start, as he lasted just 5.2 innings in picking up the loss against the Padres. He is just 5-8 with a 3.52 ERA on the road this season. Anderson was strong his last time out, giving up just two runs on four hits over six innings against the Dodgers in a no-decision. Anderson is 6-3 with a 3.41 ERA at home this season.
Game 3, Sunday 1:10 PT: RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (3-6, 3.55 ERA, 3.87 FIP) vs. RHP Trevor Cahill (3-11, 5.23 ERA, 3.91 FIP)
Despaigne was knocked around in his last start against the Dodgers, giving up seven runs (six earned) over 4.1 innings in the loss. He was solid in his last start against Arizona, giving up just a run on four hits over seven innings. Cahill got off to a great start in his last outing, going five no-hit innings before seeing it all collapse in the sixth, saddling him with the loss. His ERA is inflated at home, rising to 6.65 at Chase Field.
I think Arizona takes just one of three games from this set. Vidal Nuno (and the Diamondbacks, for that matter) are due for a win, and I think that it comes Friday night. Ross will make for a great matchup against Anderson, making for a competitive ballgame. I just don't trust Cahill at this point, so I'll give Despaigne the benefit of the doubt.