At 6:40 this evening, the Padres will open up a three-game series against the Diamondbacks.
Although Arizona is tied for first in the NL West, I am sure that there is one Friar in particular who is happy that he will be heading to up Chase Field this weekend: Chris Denorfia.
Although “Deno” has been one of San Diego’s most quietly productive players over the last four seasons (39 total games), he has always managed to make life tough on Arizona’s pitchers.
How effective has “Deno” been during those 39 games? Let these numbers sink in, readers:
- .365 batting average (42 for 115)
- 32 runs scored
- 15 extra-base hits (six doubles, one triple, eight home runs)
- 15 runs batted in
- 10 to 13 walk to strikeout ratio
For whatever reason, Denorfia seems to enjoy hitting against Arizona and his success speaks for itself. While his extra-base hits numbers are impressive, the stat that makes me smile the most is the amount of hits (42) and runs (32) the outfielder has recorded against his division rival.
My hope is that Bud Black will move him into the leadoff spot for this weekend’s series, especially because he performed so well in that role earlier this month against Arizona. Denorfia proved to be an effective “table setter” for the rest of San Diego’s lineup as he went hit .364 (4 for 11), clubbed one double, one home run, scored four runs, walked three times and drove in two runs of his own.
Of course, that series was “business as usual” for “Deno” this year. Overall, Chris is leading the team’s regulars in batting average (.305), has clubbed 10 extra base-hits (eight doubles, two home runs), scored 19 runs and tallied 15 runs batted in. No longer a “platoon player,” Denorfia has shined as a regular and has definitely established himself a mainstay in San Diego’s outfield.
Despite his past success, things will not be easy Denorfia or the rest of San Diego’s hitters against Arizona. While “Deno” has hit left-handers successfully over his career, the Snakes will send Wade Miley and Patrick Corbin to the hill for games two and three of the series. Corbin in particular has been basically “lights-out” this year. Overall, the lefty has a 7-0 record, a 1.44 ERA and a terrific 51 to 18 strikeout to walk ratio through 62.1 innings pitched.
I for one am intrigued to see how well the Padres will perform against another quality opponent, and I am certainly interested to see whether or not Denorfia can be a difference-maker once again against the Diamondbacks.