The Padres (23-28) head to the Arizona desert to face the Diamondbacks (20-32). It is projected be around 100 degrees for Game 1. The Friars have an opportunity, once again, to make up ground by playing a series where they can easily win 2 out of 3. The Diamondbacks sit in last place in the NL West and have the second-to-worst record in the NL.
Game 1 will feature Tyson Ross (5-4, 2.64 ERA) against Brandon McCarthy (1-6, 4.67 ERA). Ross and McCarthy are both coming off strong starts with Ross having won 2 of his last 3 starts. When he faced the Diamondbacks earlier this month, he pitched 7 solid innings only allowing one run.
Pitching has not been the Diamondbacks strong suit this season as they are 28th in the MLB in team ERA. Offensively they are not horrible. Paul Goldschmidt is hitting .305 with 9 HR and 33 RBI. Miguel Montero has 24 RBI with a team-leading .361 on-base percentage. They have been riddled with injuries and have been without J.J. Putz, Mark Trumbo and possibly Aaron Hill.
The Padres need to win this series. They have not won a series in their last three tries. The key to victory will be the pitching of Eric Stults and the offense. If the Padres offense regresses, it will be hard to win. Stults had a rough outing against the Cubs and has been inconsistent much of the year. If the team can get the Stults that allowed one run in 6.2 innings at Coors Field, the Padres have to like their chances.
The Padres also need Jedd Gyorko, Yasmani Grandal and Everth Cabrera to break out of their slumps. The last time the Friars went to Chase Field, they lost 2 out of 3 in August of last year, but they did manage to score 15 runs in those three games. If the Padres can score 15 runs this time around, they will win this series.