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Game #155 Preview: 9/26, Arizona Diamondbacks @ San Diego Padres

Here's to a better start for Hellickson than the last time he faced the Padres...

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The La Russa Heartbreakometer

What is this?

Heart Left WWWWWWW Heart right
Jeremy Hellickson
RHP, 9-10, 4.73
Robbie Erlin
LHP, 0-1, 21.00
Ender Inciarte - RF Wil Myers - 1B
Aaron Hill - 2B Cory Spangenberg - 3B
A.J. Pollock - CF Matt Kemp - RF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Justin Upton - LF
Welington Castillo - C Jedd Gyorko - 2B
Yasmany Tomas - LF Derek Norris - C
Brandon Drury - 3B Alexi Amarista - SS
Chris Owings - SS Robbie Erlin - LHP
Jeremy Hellickson - RHP Travis Jankowski - CF

No, that is NOT a mis-print or mis-placed decimal point in Erlin's ERA. His first start this year did not go well, to the tune of nine hits, a walk and seven earned runs in three innings. Admittedly, that was in Coors Field, so you have to apply a conversion rate of about 60% to all those numbers to reduce them to a legitimate, major-league ballpark [anywhere except Denver and Houston, basically] But he had a 5.68 ERA over his 24 starts for Triple-A El Paso, so there's a reason he was in the minors all season. It may be Petco, but I'm hopeful our league-best offense - dammit, now tied for league-best in runs scored, with the Rockies - will continue to pull their weight.

Good job it's an early game today, what with it being a Hellickson start and all [deadhorse.gif] Maybe it won't be so bad: two of Hellickson's quickest contests this year were against the Padres, in particular the blitzkrieg 2:30 on June 21, where he went six innings as we won 7-2. On the other hand, the last time he saw San Diego, it was an agonizing 3:29 at Chase Field - that was the game where he was gone after one inning, the visitors scoring five runs while recording a single out in the first, and we were hammered by a 10-3 margin. On that basis, I get the feeling it might be quite a high-scoring game all-round, at least by Petco standards. Which is anything more than about 2-1.

Bit of a more normal configuration for our infield defense here, Drury retreating to his more familiar position at the hot corner, after his sojourn over to shortstop yesterday. We also got a little more information on tomorrow's game, which will apparently see a double-barreled start, with Jhoulys Chacin following Zack Godley to the mound, at whatever point Chip Hale deems appropriate. Kinda makes sense. Godley threw 18 pitches his last appearance, out of the bullpen, and even his last start, on September 9, he only threw 65, so that's probably about the limit. It has been a very strange pattern of usage for Zack. We're saving his innings! No, we're not! Yes, we are! Oh, one more start then....