Padres VS. D-Backs Series Preview


Aug 21, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks pitching coach

Charles Nagy

(left) goes to the mound to talk to Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher

Brandon McCarthy

(center) during the third inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Image Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona returns home after a disappointing road trip where they went 4-6, and they can ill afford to have any more setbacks to make that final push for a play off spot.

They trail the Cincinnati Reds by seven games for the second wild-card spot in the National League. The club has to find a way to beat teams that are under .500, as the rest of their schedule is made up of teams that have a losing record, except for them playing the Los Angeles Dodgers seven times in September.

This is the fifth meeting between these two clubs. So far Arizona is 4-8 against them this season.

Game 1 (Monday): Tyson Ross (3-6, 2.85 ERA) vs. Brandon McCarthy (2-8, 5.44 ERA)

Ross is coming off his worst start since rejoining the rotation on July 23. Still, Ross kept his club in the game, working into the seventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates despite having a below average fastball.

McCarthy is 0-5 with an 8.59 ERA in his last five starts, allowing seven runs in 2 1/3 innings against the Cincinnati Reds his last time out. However, in his last three home starts, he’s 1-1 with a 1.23 ERA.

Game 2 (Tuesday): Ian Kennedy (5-9, 4.88 ERA) vs. David Holmberg (0-0, -.–)

Kennedy tossed seven shutout innings against Pittsburgh on Wednesday is exactly the player the Padres hoped they’d get when they traded for him at the Deadline. The change of scenery seems to be working out well for him, with him just allowing nine runs across four starts.

Holmberg will make his debut for Arizona in this start with Trevor Cahill unavailable due to him throwing four innings in the 18 inning victory on Saturday. The young lefty has made 25 starts for Double-A Mobile with 2.66 ERA and holding opposing batters to a .233 average, while limiting left-handed batters to a .216 batting average. He has a 1.57 ERA through his last six starts in Double-A.

Game 3 (Wednesday): Robbie Erlin (1-2, 7.15 ERA) vs. Wade Miley (9-8, 3.60 ERA)

Erlin will be recalled from Triple-A Tucson to make this start for Edinson Volquez, who was designated for assignment Saturday. The left-hander has started four games for the Padres, but has done most of his work in Tucson in 2013.

Miley has a 2.66 ERA in 15 starts since a tough April and May. He’s 6-3, and the D-backs are 10-5 in those games. The lefty has gone three straight starts without a decision, but has won five of his past six decisions.