The Arizona Diamondbacks travel to Petco to take on NL West foe the San Diego Padres.
A quarter of the season is in the books and the defending National League West champion Diamondbacks are sitting in third. That's not eye popping news but seeing Arizona at five games below the .500 mark is surprising. There is no one area where the D-Backs have struggled but suffice to say both the pitching and hitting have needed a boost. That wasn't the case Wednesday with Ian Kennedy allowing just one run on five hits and two walks in 7.2 innings of a 4-1 victory over San Francisco. The bats made that stand up with eight hits and six walks with Paul Goldschmidt swinging the big bat with his fourth homer while also lacing a run scoring single. Arizona hands the ball to Wade Miley who has been a pleasant surprise for the Diamondbacks as he goes for his seventh win of the season. Miley is riding a three game win streak in which he has given up four earned runs over 19.2 frames.
San Diego is mired in a six game slide and are buried in the National League West basement at a monster 18 games below .500. Needless to say, reaching the .500 mark doesn't look to be in their future and escaping the division just as unlikely. A lack of offensive punch has been an issue for the past several years and 2012 is no different with the team scoring three runs or less in seven of ten. So what happens when the offense scored six against the Cubs on Wednesday? The arms gave up eight. Starter Anthony Bass allowed five runs in 4.2 frames before late inning relief allowed three runs inÂ the final two innings. The offense mustered nine hits while walking six times with Carlos Quentin going deep and knocking in four while Chris Denofria clubbed a two run homer. Left hander Clayton Richard gets the starting nod for San Diego as he looks to turn a slow start to 2012 around. Richard comes in off one of his poorer starts of the year when he gave up four runs on five hits and three walks in six innings of a 9-0 loss to the Mets.
Richard is a better hurler than he has shown thus far and Miley might or might not be. Decent odds on the better team is the way I'm looking although Arizona doesn't always look like a great team...