It has been a long journey for the San Diego Padres in 2016. This weekend, they will conclude this trek with a three game series at Chase Field in Arizona against the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks enter the series at 66-93, while the Padres have fared slightly better, earning a 68-91 record.
On Friday night, the Padres will send Edwin Jackson to the mound, while the Diamondbacks will counter with Braden Shipley. The lineups for the opener have already been released, and they are as follows:
On Saturday, the San Diego will start southpaw Clayton Richard, one of the better starters for the Padres this year. He currently sits at 3-3 with a 2.98 ERA, so Saturday will be an opportunity for the 33-year-old to finish 2016 with a winning record. The Diamondbacks will counter with Archie Bradley, a 24-year-old who has has struggled greatly in his second year, posting a 5.15 ERA.
Finally, the season’s last game on Sunday will feature Paul Clemens starting for San Diego. To oppose him, Arizona will send Matt Koch to the mound. Sunday’s game will be compelling to watch, as all season finales are even if the contest is between the two teams at the bottom of the NL West.
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If the Padres take just one of the three this weekend in Arizona, they will finish with a better record than the Diamondbacks, avoiding the cellar in the division. Furthermore, a series victory would give the Padres 70 wins on the year, a threshold which shows that the organization may be heading in the right direction. While these scenarios are clearly nothing more than moral victories, they would leave a much better taste in the mouths of San Diego fans everywhere as a long offseason approaches.
Friday’s contest will begin at 6:40 PM PT, the final true evening game of 2016. The Padres and Diamondbacks will close out the year with a late afternoon 5:10 start on Saturday, and a 12:10 matinee on Sunday. Each game can be seen on Fox Sports San Diego, as well as on MLB.TV for free.
As die-hard Padres’ fans tune in one final weekend to see their beloved team look to finish in fourth place in the NL West, it is a good time to enjoy one final weekend of baseball. After this series, it will be time to reflect on a less than ideal 2016 and search for answers in the winter. So, enjoy these final games while they are here, San Diego fans.