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Series Preview #38: Diamondbacks vs. Padres

The Padres come to town. Wil the Diamondbacks be able to find a win?

The San Deigo Padres Friar stands on the field at Petco Park while holding an inflatable rally goose. Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Well folks, it continues to be suboptimal for the Snakes. First, they fell out of first place in the NL West. Then they fell out of a Wild Card spot. Now they’ve lost eight straight and the team directly behind them in the standings is coming to town for a series. Some days the offense has struggled. Other days the pitching has struggled. A lot of the time both of them have struggled. On the plus side, my evenings haven’t been this free since 2021.

The Padres, on the other hand, are doing better than the Diamondbacks of late, but they did run into the red-hot Mariners and Dodgers in their last two series, getting swept in a two-game series by Seattle and losing three out of four to Los Angeles. They’ve lost six out of their last ten, but that is a far cry from the nine out of ten the Diamondbacks have lost.

Game 1 — 8/11, 6:40 PM: Ryne Nelson (6-6, 5.16 ERA/83 ERA+, 1.42 WHIP) vs. Blake Snell (8-8, 2.61 ERA/158 ERA+, 1.29 WHIP)

For the majority of the season, it’s been a well-established fact that Nelson has pitched well on the road and struggled at home. So, in true Diamondback fashion, he decided to get lit up on the road last time out. He only lasted three innings, gave up six runs on eight hits, one of which was a home run. On the plus side, he got five strikeouts so maybe it was a win after all. This time, though, he takes the rubber at Chase Field where he hasn’t given up less than five runs since June 3rd against the Braves.

Opposing him Friday evening will be Blake Snell, who in the last year of his contract is finally pitching like the TOR arm that the Padres thought they were getting. He has the best ERA of any qualified pitcher in baseball, and an ERA+ to back it up. One potential weakness is his walks. He is walking batters at a 5.2/9IP rate, more than a walk higher than his career norms. Maybe take a couple of pitches. Just thinking out loud.

Game 2 — 8/12, 5:10PM: Zac Gallen (11-5, 3.37 ERA/128 ERA+, 1.07 WHIP) vs. Rich Hill (7-11, 5.09 ERA/89 ERA+, 1.48 WHIP)

The Diamondbacks have not won a Zac Gallen start since July 7th. The worst part is... you can’t entirely blame it on the offense. Gallen’s put up an ERA of 4.61 over those five games, and is FIP is perfectly in line, so it isn’t the defense either. The good news is he’ll be back at Chase where he has just been absolute nails all year long. 11 starts with an ERA of 1.92

Dick Mountain, I mean Rich Hill, just joined the Padres at the deadline and did not make a great first impression. He gave up six runs in three innings with two home runs. At home in Petco. Which is honestly just kind of impressive. Other than that, he’s just about the same as he’s always been. Despite being in the league for 19 seasons now, his numbers this season pretty much match up with his career numbers. Just a dependable, middle of the road, starter.

Game 3 - 8/13, 1:10PM: Brandon Pfaadt (0-6, 7.16 ERA/60 ERA+, 1.47 WHIP) vs. Seth Lugo (4-6, 4.19 ERA/99 ERA+, 1.25 WHIP)

Two turns through the rotation ago, Pfaadt spun a gem against the Giants, and I at least hoped that it was a sign of things to come. He followed it up with his worst start since being recalled from the minors. 4.2 innings, four runs, six hits, two walks. He did not give up a home run, which is the biggest positive by far. Those home runs have plagued him both in the majors and minors, and even one game without one is a silver lining. Sure would be nice to see him get his first MLB win here.

Seth Lugo will be taking the mound on Sunday for the Padres. Lugo spent the first six months of his career as a Met, primarily as a reliever. The Padres brought him into the fold this past offseason, however, and had a very different idea. This start will give him 18 on the season, tying his career high total from 2017, with still probably six starts or so left this season. Last time out, he got lit up by the Dodgers, but prior to that he had good starts against the Rockies, Pirates, and Tigers.


That tweet, (I refuse to call it anything else. Elon Musk can bite my shiny metal ass [also apologies for using a naughty word]) pretty much sums up my conclusion. I really hope the team can pull something together. They should win on Saturday, and they should be able to pull out a win on one of the other games. I’m not holding my breath though. I’ll say they take one of the three and be thrilled if I’m wrong.