Well.... lets see, Wil Myers is on the DL, he was their best hitter. Also something something about a new guy filling out a lineup card. This will cause a tug of the heartstrings of the Sun Devil faithful (or maybe not) to have seen their local legend fail upwards into the Big Leagues post his trials and tribulations in the Valley of the Sun.
It's all part of the back stroke of the New Management Team putting in their New Management Voice in the dugout after allowing Bud Black to not distinguish himself in any way; by fielding players who haven't performed to either management or media expectations.
The real question is.... do we care or do we just want to see more pitching performances like we had post the series with the dreaded Dodgers?
James Shields (7-0/3.59/1.22) vs Rubby De La Rosa (5-3/5.27/1.28)
Shields has a gaudy W/L record but those numbers don't count, but the numbers that do count, like how many walks he has issued (25 in 87+ IP) and the number of dudes he's sent back to the dugout muttering (104) would imply that this guy is pretty good. The thing is, do we get the "Good" Rubby or the "Bad" Rubby? The "good" Rubby could duel this bad boy right down to his cleats... and the "bad" Rubby probably couldn't carry them. We all long for De La Rosa to find some consistency but we have to be wary what we ask for methinks. Tune in Friday and see...
Tyson Ross (3-7/4.02/1.59) vs Robbie Ray (2-1/1.09/0.97)
Ross has struggled (considering last year when he was pretty darn nifty), Ray is inconsistent and learning his trade at the next level. Who will prevail, heck if I know...
Andrew Cashner (2-8/4.45/1.45) vs Jeremy Hellickson (4-4/5.10/1.41)
Cashner, who has been lauded as having great stuff, a lively fastball and awesome facial hair; has been either craptastic or unlucky and sometimes both. Helickson has been quite respectable and presentable over his last six starts and I remain mildly optimistic that we have the better of this matchup, pending J-UP not going bananas on us as he has been known to do.
With the WHIPS in the last two matchups being what they are, I suspect that we'll get guys on base, but will we score? Does dope still get smoked on campus?
I say 2 of 3, not saying that we'll win, but we'll score.
The Pads are 3-7 in their last 10. They've dropped to 4th behind the D'Backs (not that it means anything) but they're .500 on the road. Arizona is 5-5 in their last ten and are just a titch below .500 at home, so I can't say or imply that there is really any home field advantage to lean on. So momentum is mostly just a theory that has its roots in physics as far as this series is concerned.
WHAT TO WATCH
I'd say the games, although I believe there is a Father's Day T-Shirt giveaway on Sunday. I can't in all honesty tell you what to watch out for. The Padres were supposed to be better after they spent all of their money and prospects on getting proven performers (man, does that sound familiar) and instead, Ross looks mortal, Cashner can't win and Kennedy looks like he could be DFA''d at any moment. If that doesn't help, the one guy that they did trade for who has been modestly above expectations found his way onto the DL for the next two months. What does this mean, absolutely nada. Our history with the Pads means that you can't trust anything, be it Venable's bat or the possibility that the entire team from San Diego could snap out of their funk and go all Schwarzenegger on us. I will say that the chances are good that Goldy gets #20 sometime this weekend.
MADE UP FACT
Odrisamer Despaigne was deported to America for anti-Cuban activities....