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Game #68 Preview: 6/20, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres

Win. Or don't. Because it's not as if .500 means anything.

Chris Owings new way of reaching first-base?
Chris Owings new way of reaching first-base?
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Ross
LHP, 3-7, 3.90
Robbie Ray
LHP, 2-1, 1.09
Melvin Upton Jr. - CF A.J. Pollock - CF
Derek Norris - 1B Jake Lamb - 3B
Justin Upton - LF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Matt Kemp - RF David Peralta - LF
Will Middlebrooks - 3B Danny Dorn - RF
Clint Barmes - SS Chris Owings - 2B
Alexi Amarista - 2B Welington Castillo - C
Austin Hedges - C Cliff Pennington - SS
Tyson Ross - RHP Robbie Ray - LHP

The Diamondbacks' assault on Mount .500 since April 24 has gone about as well as an attempt to climb the south face of the Eiger, while blindfolded, and using mountaineering equipment made entirely of pasta. This will now be Arizona's ninth attempt to win while one game below .500, having lost the last eight such contests. The odds of a team losing eight straight, if they are a "true" .500 team, is one in 256, so you do have to wonder if there is now something psychological in effect now. Certainly, the last time - the matinee game on Thursday, completing our season series against the Angels - the team hardly seemed to make an effort.

To win, we'll probably have to go through Ross, who has had a disappointing season, but has done well against us of late, more often than not.. Three of his last four starts against Arizona have been 6+ innings and two runs or fewer. However, we still managed to win one of those. Goldie has hit him well - 6-for-17 with a pair of homers - but then, there aren't many pitchers he hasn't hit. Of the 23 pitchers with more than 15 PA against Goldschmidt, the only two with an OPS under .700 are Dan Haren (4-for-19, .579 OPS) and Mike Leake (2-for-16, .250 OPS). Ross's 1.300 OPS is fifth on that list, so I'm hoping for good things today.

Yasmany Tomas is getting an expected day off, following his elbow taking a bit of a beating yesterday - and without even stopping a perfect game on the 27th out as consolation. He may be able to come off the bench, but instead it's Dorn who gets to start in right-field, and bats fifth. Interesting he gets to hit ahead of Owings, which may be a nod as to how far CO's stock has fallen. His OPS+ of 55 is 164th of 167 qualfying batters in the majors this year, and it's largely down to the fact that he has six walks in 235 plate-appearances. With Ender Inciarte's walk-rate also below 3%, there may be something about "You can't walk out of Arizona".