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Series Preview #36: Diamondbacks @ Padres

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Nothing like a trip to bright and sunny San Diego!

An outside shot of Petco Park, with Palm trees in the foreground framing the Petco Park logo Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Diamondbacks tour against NL West teams continues with a three game set against the Padres. Despite having a record that would give them a 6 game lead in the NL East, the Padres currently are stuck in third place behind the Dodgers and the still-haven’t-fallen-to-earth Giants.

Game 1: Caleb Smith (3-8, 1.38 WHIP, 84 ERA+) vs. Ryan Weathers (4-3, 1.24 WHIP, 104 ERA+)

Caleb Smith’s season to forget continued his last time out with a 1.2 inning, five earned run start against the Dodgers. Smith only had one good start since June 29th, a 6.2 inning outing against the Pirates on July 19th. Twice he has failed to get out of the second inning, and every other start besides the 7/19 game five or more runs. If we had other options, I’d suggest it was time to get him out of the rotation, but...

Ryan Weathers got rocked pretty hard his last time out, giving up eight runs to the Rockies in four innings... in San Diego. Other than that, he’s had a very solid first season in the big leagues. Jayce Tingler and the Padres haven’t gotten much length out of him, however. He has only managed to pitch into the sixth inning twice this year, with most of his starts ending after four innings.

Game 2: Taylor Widener (1-1, 1.46 WHIP, 84 ERA+) vs. Yu Darvish (7-6, 1.01 WHIP, 108 ERA+)

Since coming off of the Injured list, Widener has pitched three times. Each of those games, he has given up five earned runs. Walks have been an issue for him since returning as well. In those three starts, he’s given up 9 walks in 12.2 innings, which isn’t ideal, especially when paired with a BABIP north of .400 in that time.

The month of July was not good at all for Darvish. He toed the rubber five times in the month, gave up nine home runs, and put together an ERA of 7.36. Hardly the great-to-elite pitcher he normally is, or that the Padres thought they had signed in the off season. Basically, what he needs is an easy game to put it all together. That doesn’t bode well for the Diamondbacks.

Game 3: Madison Bumgarner (6-6, 1.14 WHIP, 92 ERA+) vs. Blake Snell (5-4, 1.62 WHIP, 72 ERA+)

Like many Diamondbacks pitchers this season, Bumgarner has spent a significant amount of time on the IL. However, since coming back from his last extended stint, he’s pitched quite well. The team is 3-1 in those starts, and he’s gone 6+ innings in three of them, and hasn’t given up more than two ER in any. He’s kept the walks and home runs to a bare minimum, while striking out 15.

Blake Snell has not been good this season. He’s been just as likely to hold an opponent scoreless (four times) as he has been to give up seven runs (3 times). His 72 ERA+ is 45 points lower than his career mark, and he’s giving up almost two more walks per nine innings than he has the rest of his career. He has been better at home, however, so keep an eye on that.

Conclusion

At this point, I feel pretty confident in Bumgarner’s start and the exact opposite for Smith’s start. Widener has been inconsistent, and it really feels like Darvish is due for a good game. Because of that, I’m going to have to say once again that the Diamondbacks lose the series two games to one.