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Preview #20: 8/14, Diamondbacks vs. Padres

Yes. AGAIN...

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

Today's Lineups

PADRES DIAMONDBACKS
Fernando Tatis - SS Kole Calhoun - RF
Trent Grisham - CF Ketel Marte - 2B
Manny Machado - 3B Starling Marte - CF
Tommy Pham - DH David Peralta - DH
Eric Hosmer - 1B Christian Walker - 1B
Wil Myers - RF Stephen Vogt - C
Jake Cronenworth - 2B Andy Young - 3B
Francisco Mejia - C Daulton Varsho - LF
Jurickson Profar - LF Nick Ahmed - SS
Dinelson Lamet - RHP Merrill Kelly - RHP

The slog starts here. For tonight begins a stretch of 17 games in 17 days for the Diamondbacks. Yes, they will be playing close to 30% of the season without a day off. Hey, work with me there, will ya? I think it’s safe to say that, by the next time we have a day without D-backs baseball, our playoff hopes will probably be a lot clearer. Unless, of course, there’s some further twists, such as a COVID-19 outbreak. And speaking of which, at least we’re not the Cardinals, who will be playing twenty-one games over the rest of August, and then thirty-two in September. And even that hellish grind will still leave them two short of the originally scheduled sixty games.

As for us, the D-backs will complete a spell where 10 of their first 22 games are against these same Padres. It feels almost like the early days of spring training at Salt River Fields, where every game is against the Colorado Rockies. At least we’ll be done with San Diego after Sunday - completing the season schedule against them before we’ve played even our first game against the San Francisco Giants. [We will be seeing them for the first time, next weekend] Won’t be sorry to see the back of San Diego, and particularly the annoyingly talented Fernando Tatis Jr. Thanks, Chicago... Because I still can’t believe the White Sox sent him to the Padres in the James Shields deal. Shields for them: 16-35 with a 5.31 ERA.

I’m curious to see how the D-backs offense, fresh off a very pleasant trip to Colorado, does back at sea level. We all know the “Coors Effect”, about how Rockies’ hitters struggle to make the adjustment from playing at altitude, to more normal elevations. I wonder if it also impacts visiting hitters? As a crude check, I looked at the schedule last year, and in particular at the series after Arizona played in Colorado.

  • @ Rays, May 6-8, scored 1, 1, 3 runs
  • vs. Mets, May 31-June 2, scored 4, 6, 7 runs
  • vs. Giants, August 15-17, scored 0, 6, 9 runs

All told, that’s 37 runs over nine games, for an average of 4.1 per game. That compares to 5.0 runs per game overall for the season by the 2019 D-backs. Particularly interesting, is that in the first three games back, Arizona scored a total of five runs. Small sample size, but it’s probably enough to warrant further study, as to whether there may be some kind of “hangover” for hitters who come down from the mountains.