Apr 24, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; San Diego Padres manager Bud Black (20) argues with umpire Jim Joyce (66) during the ninth inning at Nationals Park. San Diego Padres defeated Washington Nationals 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Despite only scoring 11 runs in 6 games, the Diamondbacks split yesterday’s traditional doubleheader at Citi Field and won two out of three from the Mets. Bronson Arroyo pitched 6 solid innings allowing only one earned run but got a no-decision. In a 1-1 tie, the offense finally broke through in the 9th, but it wasn’t because the offense that the Dbacks won that game, it was the team’s slick defense. Then in game 2, the Dbacks only managed two runs on 5 hits and wasted a pretty good outing by starter Zeke Spurill who was called up to start that game. While the team won another road series, they also finished a trip that started in St. Louis 2-4 and the offense was to blame for pretty much all the losses. Kirk Gibson talked about the offense with azcentral sports: “We scored 11 runs on this trip in six games,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “We’re in a funk. We’re not swinging the bats well at all. We’re not giving ourselves much of a chance. The pitching has been pretty decent. You can’t expect to win every game 2-1.” If the Dbacks want to win more games the offense has to start clicking consistently. It seems like when ever the offense is clicking, the pitching isn’t, and when the offense isn’t clicking, the pitching is. It was the same story last season, and in baseball you cant succeed if your not consistent.
The Padres come in at 23-28 which places them fourth in the National League West just ahead of the last place Diamondbacks. San Diego was hoping that this year was finally going to be the season that they would put everything together but that simply hasn’t been the case. Earlier this month the Friars won 6 of 8 games and it looked like they might be turning things around. RHP Josh Johnson never through a pitch for them as he underwent Tommy John Surgery, and recently their best starter Andrew Cashner landed on the D.L with you guessed it, elbow issues. Four of their position players including 2B Jedd Gyorko, and 1B Yonder Alanso have batting averages under .200. LF Seth Smith has a .317 average and Tyson Ross who is starting in game 1 has been solid owning a 2.64 era. This is the first time this season that the Dbacks will face the Padres.
Key Storyline: What interests me the most about the Padres is their manager Bud Black. It amazes me how long Black has been able to stick around. Black is currently in his 8th season in the dugout and has guided his team so far to a 23-28 record and his overall record is 562-622 which is good for a .475 winning percentage. He has only led his team to a over .500 record once. The 2010 N.L Manager of the Year and has never led his team to the playoffs. The last two times the Padres were in the playoffs, 2005 and 2006 Bruce Bochy was the manager. Black is on the hot seat in San Diego, and it is kind of surprising that he is still the manager. What exactly has he done in his 8 years?
Game by Game:
Game 1: RHP Tyson Ross vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy
McCarthy has been up and down all season but throw out his season numbers, a 1-6 record and an era of 4.67. He has been really good lately. In his last start against the Cardinals he gave up one run in 6 innings taking a no decision…It was the fifth time in 6 starts that he has allowed two runs or less…In four career starts against San Diego he is 3-1 with a 1.67 era…Ross has been a bright spot for the Padres this season currently holding a 5-4 record and an era of 2.64…Ross went seven innings in Wednesday’s loss, the sixth time in his last eight starts he has gone seven or more…In 30 innings pitched against Arizona he is 1-1 with a 1.80 era.
In his last start against the Cardinals, Miley allowed three runs on seven hits over 6 and two third innings. He’s given up three runs or more in four of his last last five starts and he hasn’t picked up a win since May 10th against the Whitesox…Stults allowed five runs his last time out, the third time he has done so this season…He is winless in his last five road starts in 2014 (0-4)…In 59.2 innings pitched against Arizona he is 5-4 with a 4.07 era.
Anderson will look to bounce back from a rough start against the Dodgers in which he surrendered five runs on seven hits in 5 and a third innings. He has not started a game since May 17th…the last time he was on the mound was last Friday at the Mets, that game was rained out…He looks to become the first Dbacks rookie to win his first three starts.
Series Prediction: I actually think the pitching matchups in this series favor the Dbacks, and with the Padres struggling I think a sweep is possible for the Snakes. McCarthy has dominated the Padres in his career and I say Arizona wins game 1. I think Wade Miley is due for a win after allowing only 3 runs in his last outing and Stults has been off and on against Arizona. Finally I think the Padres will take game 3. While the Padres have dominated the Snakes over the past two years, I think Arizona takes 2 of 3. I also wouldn’t be surprised if this series is very low scoring.