Aug 6, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Josh Collmenter throws in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
After getting swept in a four game series against the Nationals in D.C to conclude the road trip, the Arizona Diamondbacks return to Chase Field to face the 3rd place San Diego Padres as part of an eight game homestand to end August. The only way to describe the Dbacks last road-trip was that it was terrible and deflating. They went 2-8 on the trip. Eight of the games during the road-trip were decided by one run, and Arizona went 2-6 in those games. The Dbacks rank third in the N.L with 45 1 run games, trailing only the Marlins (51), and the Pirates (47). The Snakes were walked off five times during that trip.
This team has to move on, and look at the positives. The reason why they have been playing so many one run games lately is because the starting rotation has been really good as of late. Dbacks starters are 3-3 with 3.46 era in the last 13 games including 9 quality starts. Its no secret that the Padres have owned the Dbacks over the past few seasons, but the tide might just be turning in the Dbacks favor. This season they are 6-3 against the Friars, including 3-1 in their last four, and 6-3 at home. Expect more close games this weekend. Nine of the past 10 games against San Diego have been decided by two runs or less.
Bud Black‘s Padres have had an interesting season. In June, the Padres put together a really bad month offensively. In June San Diego hit .171 as a team, with a .237 on base percentage, and a .255 slugging percentage. According to BaseballReference.com, that was the worst offensive month in MLB history, surpassing the Brewers in April and March of 1972. However, since the All Star Break, the Padres are the best offense in baseball batting .267 as a team, which is just behind the Nationals who are hitting at a .266 clip. That is why baseball is awesome.
Here is a game by game preview of this series with the Padres:
In his last start, Despaigne struggled through four innings at St. Louis. He gave up five earned runs on six hits, while walking one, and striking out one. On the season, he is 3-4 with a 3.28 era, and a 4.16 FIP in 60.1 innings pitched. He is more of a ground ball pitcher than a fly ball pitcher. According to FanGraphs.com, he gets batters to ground out 47.3% of the time, while batters fly out 33.5% of the time. He has struck out 37 this season. He is 1-0 with a 1.35 era in 6.2 innings pitched against Arizona. He has a 4.28 era on the road this season. Collmenter had his worst start of the season last time out, and it had alot to do with declining velocity. He is looking to bounce back. He gave up five runs while lasting just four innings against the Marlins. His ERA and FIP are both at 4.31 this season. He has a 3.20 era at home this season. The coaching staff will be watching Josh’s velocity tonight.
Cashner will make his return to the rotation against Arizona making his first start since June 18th recovering from a shoulder injury. This season he is 2-6 in 12 starts with a 2.36 era and a 2.83 FIP. Cashner is a ground ball pitcher. According to FanGraphs, he gets opposing hitters to ground out 52.2% of the time, while hitters fly out 25.7% of the time against Cashner. He has a 3.77 era away from Petco Park this season. In 34.1 innings against Arizona, he is 3-1 with a 3.67 era.
Kennedy will be making his second start against his former team. He allowed five runs against the Dodgers last time out. In his first start against Arizona, he went five innings allowing 3 runs on 11 hits. This year Kennedy is 9-11 with a 3.72 ERA and a 3.09 FIP. According to FanGraphs, he is a strikeout pitcher. He has struck out 168 opposing hitters in 157.1 innings pitched. He has a 3.42 era on the road this season.
Series Prediction: I think the Dbacks will take two out of three to get back on track after a emotionally deflating road trip.
Injury Note: Reno starter Mike Bolsinger was hit in the face with a line drive last night in the Aces loss. He tweeted out today that he was fine, and he was thankful for all the support.