D-backs-Padres preview: Chase Field hosts pivotal series for Wild Card hopefuls
Aug 10, 2023, 8:15 PM
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
The Arizona Diamondbacks are hosting the San Diego Padres on Friday in a series that is as close to “must-win” as it gets in early August.
The D-backs come into Friday’s series with the biggest slump in baseball, losers in 24 of their last 31 games and eight consecutive losses.
After a month and a half of consistent loss, Arizona sits just 2.5 games behind the Miami Marlins for a Wild card spot and is 2.0 games up on the Padres. Both the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds remain 0.5 games back of the Marlins and are ahead in the standings of the two NL West foes.
Both teams reached this point in the season in drastically different ways.
As fans around the Valley know, the D-backs have seemingly forgotten how to score runs. During the eight-game losing streak, the D-backs have scored 15 runs for an average of less than two per game.
Even when Merrill Kelly pitches six nearly flawless frames against the Dodgers on Wednesday, one RBI knock for David Peralta was all Los Angeles needed for a 2-0 victory.
Batting averages have plummeted as Corbin Carroll once led the team in average over .300, Ketel Marte is now the clubhouse leader at .282. The team has just four players with 12 or more home runs and the power in key moments has been nonexistent.
The D-backs were buyers at the deadline and have seen poor results from those moves. Although a Wild Card spot is very much within reach, this series could determine whether Arizona is still one more year away.
Arizona looks to rookie Ryne Nelson on Friday, Cy Young favorite Zac Gallen on Saturday and rookie Brandon Pfaadt on Sunday.
The Padres sputtered out of the gate and have been playing disappointing uphill baseball for most of the year. This coupled with the $252.8 million payroll (third in baseball), fans in San Diego have not been thrilled.
The Padres dropped five of their last six ballgames and are at a point in their season where contenders are starting to separate from the rest of the pack. The Padres are faced with three games on the road in Arizona, three at home against the first-place AL East Baltimore Orioles, four against the D-backs at home and then six games against the Marlins and Brewers (both Wild Card contenders).
San Diego will turn to Cy Young candidate Blake Snell on Friday, trade deadline acquisition Rich Hill on Saturday and Seth Lugo on Sunday.