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Series Preview: Diamondbacks @ Padres

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The Battle for Last Place is in full swing, as Arizona goes to Petco for the final time this year.

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Arizona Diamondbacks (63-86) @ San Diego Padres (62-87)

The D-Backs have won 5 of their last 7 games, woohoo, including a 4 game winning streak at the beginning of that little run. Double woohoo. They are done playing the Dodgers and Giants this year, so no way to play spoiler there, but do have an upcoming series with the Orioles which will be important to the AL East race. I find it dumb that there is inter-league play late in the year with serious playoff implications, but that’s an argument for another day. Let’s check out the Padres, who somehow have been worse than Arizona this year.

State of the Padres

Very bad. I have to write more??? Well alright...

Their leader in OPS+ is a second baseman named Ryan Schimpf, who has a batting average of .223 this year. He draws a lot of walks and hits a fair amount of homers (especially for a middle infielder), which is why his OPS+ is at 137. Their next two most productive hitters are their corner infielders, Yangervis Solarte and Wil Myers, both of whom you should be somewhat familiar with. Solarte is generally regarded as the best all-around hitter on the team. Outfielder Jon Jay, who came over in a trade around the deadline, has also been productive with a batting average just below .300. Everyone else is either right around league average or worse, or a lot worse (looking at you Derek Norris).

All 5 of San Diego’s best starting pitchers are either injured or have been traded away this year, sooooooo yeah they’re kind of hurting in that department. The bullpen is in the bottom third of the league in ERA, but at least they have Fernando Rodney and his 0.31 ERA nope he was traded, a smart move for a rebuilding team. They may have a good looking farm system, but boy are they bad now.

Good News

  • Well it’s still baseball, and in 2 weeks there will be no more of it for the D-Backs, so try not to get too frusturated and enjoy it while it’s still here. I admit a part of me just wants the season to end, but I know I’ll miss it and be pining for April of 2017. These wise words will replace your good news and bad news section.

Injury Report

After being shut down for the season a few days ago, the D-Backs decided hey maybe we should bring him back this year, so Rubby De La Rosa’s status is totally up in the air. Same goes for A.J. Pollock

Despite having a plethora of players on the injury report, San Diego’s top 12 guys in plate appearances are all healthy, so I guess there’s nothing notable to report on there.

Probable Pitchers

Game 1: Braden Shipley RHP (4-3, 5.56 ERA, 1.55 WHIP) vs Clayton Richard LHP (2-3, 3.00 ERA, 1.69 WHIP)

After a fine start to his career, the wheels have fallen off for Shipley. In his last 6 appearances (4 starts), he has a 7.43 ERA, and only 14 strikeouts. He allowed multiple homers in 3 of these starts, which is generally not the path to success. His only start in against the Padres did not go too well, where gave up 7 earned runs in 5.1 innings.

The second-best NL West lefty named Clayton, Mr. Richard spent the first half of his season with the Cubs until he was DFA’d. He has done very well since being picked up by the Padres in August, with a 1.51 ERA in 6 starts. He relies primarily on a 2-seam fastball, with change-ups, sliders, and curves for his off-speed pitches. Big advantage to Richard and the Padres in this one. (Note: This game is on Fox Sports 1, because with all the wild card races a D-Backs vs Padres game is definitely the game you wanna show)

Game 2: Archie Bradley RHP (7-9, 5.07 ERA, 1.58 WHIP) vs Paul Clemens RHP (3-5, 4.94 ERA, 1.65 WHIP)

One of the more highly regarded prospects in the D-Backs farm system for a couple years, 31 starts later Archie Bradley continues to be rather uninspiring. Since the beginning of August, Bradley has put up an ERA of 6.75, bringing his career ERA to 5.23. While it is too early to dismiss Archie entirely- he still shows his potential from time to time- things are looking bleak for the 24-year-old.

Paul Clemens spent 2013 and 2014 as an Astros reliever, spent 2015 in a couple different minor league teams, was dumped by Miami after 2 horrible starts, and now finds himself in the Padres rotation, which should be a good indicator on the state of San Diego. The first two numbers I notice about Clemens are his high walk and home run rates, normally not a good sign. Clemens has also not made it through the 6th inning in a single start this year, so expect to see a lot of the Padres bullpen on Tuesday. He throws a low-90s fastball and slow curve the majority of the time, with an extremely rare change-up mixed in occasionally too. The D-Backs should be able to put up a good amount of offense, slight advantage D-Backs.

Game 3: Zack Greinke RHP (12-7, 4.42 ERA, 1.28 WHIP) vs Luis Perdomo RHP (8-9, 5.68 ERA, 1.63 WHIP)

Hopefully Greinke’s earlier injury is still bothering him and this is not him at full strength, because his last ace level start came all the way back in mid-June. The D-Backs did not pay 200+ million for an okay to good pitcher.

Perdomo began the season in the Padres bullpen, and after much inconsistency was brought to the rotation in June, because that’s what you do with meh relievers. He’s actually been serviceable-ish as a starter, with a 4.71 ERA in 18 starts. Not great, but better than his 9+ relief ERA. He throws a low to mid 90’s 2 seam fastball, a curve, and an 89 MPH change-up which seems too fast to be effective at all. Advantage D-Backs.

Keys to the Series

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Who knows, both teams are just so inconsistent you can’t just point to one or two things and say "yes, that’s what they must do to win."

Prediction

D-Backs win 1 of 3.