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D-backs Preview #118: 8/13 vs. Padres

Can the D-backs make it three in a row over those swaggin’ Padres?

San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Tommy Pham - LF Josh VanMeter - 2B
Adam Frazier - 2B Ketel Marte - CF
Manny Machado - 3B Pavin Smith - RF
Jake Cronenworth - SS Asdrubal Cabrera - 1B
Austin Nola - C David Peralta - LF
Eric Hosmer - 1B Drew Ellis - 3B
Wil Myers - RF Daulton Varsho - C
Trent Grisham - CF Nick Ahmed - SS
Joe Musgrove - RHP Tyler Gilbert - LHP

The Padres have got to be feeling nervous. While they still occupy the second wild-card position in the National League, their lead over the Reds for that is now only 212 games. That’s barely half the 412 games it was when they arrived in Phoenix. Their rotation is in tatters, especially after Darvish left on Thursday with back tightness. In the words of beat writer Kevin Acee, “If Darvish misses significant time, the Padres are essentially down to Musgrove and Snell and hope like hell.” A failure to make the post-season, would be crushing after the team made such a splash, with a $176 million payroll, fourth-most in the NL. But it would also be par for the San Diego course.

They are still favored, with Fangraphs giving them a 61.2% chance of making the playoffs. However, that’s down from 97.1% at the end of June. Not helping: according to the Tankathon Strength of Schedule chart, the Padres have the toughest schedule the rest of the way, while the Reds are 29th. Getting Fernando Tatis back, which could potentially happen as soon as tomorrow, will obviously help - for as long as he can stay healthy. Though there is the question of whether he may end up getting moved to the outfield. It’s all considerably more shaky than before Opening Day, when many were predicting a Padres-Dodgers NLCS. Maybe the D-backs can make things even shakier this evening.

Torey Lovullo notes

  • Tyler Gilbert : what he’s looking for today and how far he can go: “Well, first of all we know he’s been starting in Reno. We transitioned him out of necessity into a different role. But he’s built up to go as long as we need him to. This opportunity is very well deserved. He had a tremendous year. He was attacking the zone. He’s got a mixture of pitches, several that are very competitive in the zone. I know we’re all excited about this. and it’s a great opportunity for him.”
  • Taylor Widener is doing ok. His symptoms have leveled and he’s on a road to recovery. They’ll keep us posted on next parts of his plan.
  • Noe Ramirez and Stuart Fairchild continue to work out at Salt River Fields.

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]