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Game #8 Preview: 4/14, Arizona Diamondbacks @ San Diego Padres

The Diamondbacks could win their first series on the road since July tonight, if they beat the Padres at Petco.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Hellickson
RHP, 0-1, 6.23
Odrisamer Despaigne
RHP, 0-0, 0.00
A.J. Pollock - CF Wil Myers - CF
Chris Owings - 2B Yangervis Solarte - 2B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Matt Kemp - RF
David Peralta - LF Justin Upton - LF
Mark Trumbo - RF Derek Norris - C
Jake Lamb - 3B Yonder Alonso - 1B
Tuffy Gosewisch - C Will Middlebrooks - 3B
Nick Ahmed - SS Alexi Amarista - SS
Jeremy Hellickson - RHP Odrisamer Despaigne - RHP

This would have been the spot where we got to reunite with former Diamondback Ian Kennedy, but his 2015 debut was abruptly truncated by a strained left hamstring. That limited him to 2.1 innings and sent him to the disabled list, but Despaigne responded to being forced into extended action very well, tossing an out shy of five perfect frames - making an easy decision with regard to replacing Kennedy. We should be fairly familiar with him, as he faced us four times from June 29 on last year, going 1-2, though with a solid 2.96 ERA. Peralta if 4-for-8, which may be partly why he's in and last night's hero, Ender Inciarte (2-for-12) is not.

After Rubby De La Rosa went six innings last night, we'll be hoping Hellickson can build on that, his 4.1 innings in his Arizona debut having resulting in nine hits and taken 91 pitches. Six should be more or less the standard goal for our starters, rather than a cause for celebration: I can but dream of the day we managed to get a complete cycle out of the rotation where all five guys reach that mark. Maybe that's what we need: a tally for consecutive six-inning outings, along the lines of those "It has been 123 days since the last velociraptor incident" signs. Time to get into Photoshop....

Game notes

  • From the useless trivia department: Inciarte is one of six players in the majors who have doubled in five consecutive games against the Padres - something Stephen Drew did in August 2010. The record belongs to Todd Helton, who had six straight in 2005. Goldschmidt, meanwhile, has reached base safely in 16-straight games against San Diego.
  • Brad Ziegler is closing in on two franchise records: he needs one more hold to break a three-way tie with Tony Pena and David Hernandez, while four more appearances would send him past Jose Valverde for the most games by a pitcher in Diamondbacks history.
  • We are the only National League team where each of the top three positions are batting .300 or better.
  • Andrew Chafin has retired 16 straight batters (11 ground outs, three K's and 2 foul outs) since allowing a hit to the first batter he faced this year. Elias says the Arizona record for consecutive batters retired by a reliever is 22, by Willie Banks in July 1998
  • The Diamondbacks are 0-6 with two splits of their eight road series since they last took a set away from Chase, taking two of three July 29-31 in Cincinnati.