Padres-Diamondbacks Series Preview: Getting Back On Track


Sep 5, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Vidal Nuno (54) delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Lets just say the Diamondbacks didn’t have alot of fun during their recent 10 game West Coast road trip. They went 2-8, and are in the middle of a six game losing streak after back to back sweeps at the hands of their bitter rivals the San Francisco Giants, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. During the Giants series, the offense continued to slump scoring two runs in three games, the bullpen didn’t provide much in the way of relief, and the starting rotation which was so good during the Dodgers series wasn’t the same at AT and T Park.

Not to long ago, I predicted that the Dbacks wouldn’t free fall, and they would finish the season strong. That prediction hasn’t turned out to well. The Dbacks went 9-18 in August which was their second worst month of the season behind April, and they have gone 2-8 so far in September. Who knows the Dbacks might indeed be free falling, but at least we have young talent, and the G.M. search to keep our eye on. On the bright side, the great thing about baseball is that it occurs every day. That means the Snakes have a chance to rebound when the open a six game homestand starting with three against the San Diego Padres, and then concluding with three against the Giants.

Here is a preview of the Padres-Diamondbacks series which starts tonight:

Game 1: LHP Eric Stults vs. LHP Vidal Nuno

Game 1 of the series pairs two of left-handers that are both pitching well during the second half. Stults hasn’t been the same pitcher he was in the first half which is a great thing for him. His overall era for the year sits at 4.55 while his overall FIP sits at 4.90. However, when you look at the splits, he really has experienced two different seasons. In 19 starts before the all star break he was 3-11 with a 4.98 era and a 5.20 FIP. In 9 starts during the second half, he is 3-5 with a 3.74 era, and a 4.35 FIP. Here is the bad thing for Stults: In 10 road losses this year he has a 4.86 era, compared with a 4.13 era at Petco Park. In 17.1 innings pitched against Arizona this season he is 0-3 with a 4.67 era. Meanwhile, Nuno has been outstanding since coming over to the Dbacks in a trade with the Yankees, but the team hasn’t been able to get him a win. He has a 3.16 era in 11 starts with Arizona, but the offense hasn’t scored runs for him.

Game 2: RHP Tyson Ross vs. RHP Chase Anderson

Ross has actually been one of the best pitchers in the National League this season, but his efforts often go unnoticed because he plays on a losing team. Ross set a club record with 14 quality starts in a row before allowing three runs in 5 and a third innings against the Rockies. Overall he is 13-13 with a 2.66 era on the season. Ross is another case where his offense has failed to support him many times. Anderson has really impressed since being called up from Double A Mobile in May. In his last start against the Dodgers, he allowed two runs over six innings. Overall Anderson is 8-6 with a 3.71 era.

Game 3: RHP Odrisamer Despaigne vs. RHP Trevor Cahill

In his last start, Despaigne struggled to command and control his pitches from the get go allowing 7 runs six of those earned over 4 and a third outings against the Dodgers. That was more than enough support for Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in a L.A victory. Overall on the year, he is 3-6 with 3.55 era. He has had mixed results against the Snakes this season. In 18.1 innings pitched he is 0-1 with a 3.93 era. Since coming back from his minors demotion, Cahill has been inconsistent and it is clear that he is still a work in progress. After pitching well for a while, Cahill has struggled in his last two starts walking 10 batters in 9 and 2/3 innings. He hasn’t won since August 15th when he beat the Marlins.

Series Prediction: The Dbacks have to get a win for Nuno at some point right? I am just going to predict that Nuno will get a win in every start until he finally wins in a Dbacks uniform and that starts tonight. In game 2, I think Ross will be to much. Anderson will pitch well, but the Dbacks wont be able to score many runs off Ross. That means that the series will come down to game 3. I think Cahill gets back to his winning ways, and the Dbacks win a low scoring affair to take two out of three in the series. This season the Dbacks are 10-6 against the Padres, and I think that success will continue in this series.