|Melvin Upton Jr. - CF||Jean Segura - 2B|
|Wil Myers - 1B||Michael Bourn - CF|
|Matt Kemp - RF||Paul Goldschmidt - 1B|
|Yangervis Solarte - 3B||Jake Lamb - 3B|
|Alex Dickerson - LF||Welington Castillo - C|
|Derek Norris - C||Phil Gosselin - LF|
|Ryan Schimpf - 2B||Brandon Drury - RF|
|Alexei Ramirez - SS||Nick Ahmed - SS|
|Luis Perdomo - RHP||Archie Bradley - RHP|
We took two out of three the last time we played the Padres, in Phoenix, over the last weekend in May. Since then, not much has changed. The Padres and Diamondbacks have posted the eighth- and ninth-best record in the National League over that time, going 15-16 and 14-18 respectively, and we've been in fourth place virtually the entire time. Indeed, with the exception of two days (one down in fifth, the other up in third) the Diamondbacks have been in fourth place after every single game they've played since May 16. However, it's pretty close in the standings. In fact, we currently have the same number of wins as the third-place Rockies, and the same number of losses as the fifth-place Padres.
If they take two out of three against the Diamondbacks in this series, it will effectively be a tie for last place in the NL West: we'll be on 38-49, and they'll be on 37-48. Meanwhile, the Rockies are continuing a slump which has seen them lose five straight, and as I write, they're about to make that streak six against the Giants. If they also lose tomorrow and Wednesday as well, they'll be just half a game up over Arizona and San Diego, given the scenario above, on 37-47. On the other hand, we could sweep the Padres and... No, sorry: my plausibility circuit just kicked in there. Never mind a sweep, we've only won three of the 14 home series played this year, the last being the Marlins set on June 12.
On the other hand, the Padres are the only divisional rival, against whom the D-backs have a winning record this season. We're 4-2 there, compared to (in descending order of winnittude) the Giants (5-6), Rockies (5-8) and Dodgers (2-4). All told, we are 16-20 against the NL West this year, which is obviously not encouraging in terms of making the playoffs. [Side note: does anyone still think that's at all a credible possibility this year? Or are well all agreed this is a cause and season that should now be regarded as lost] If you can't win within your division, you won't win your division. For now, I'll settle with staying out of last-place this series.