The San Diego Padres are in Phoenix to open what could be a season-shifting four-game series for the Friars against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night.
Of course, much of the focus of Thursday's Padres-Diamondbacks tilt will be the return of Fernando Tatis Jr. to the San Diego starting lineup. It's a moment that has Padres fans excited, not only to see Tatis back in action for the first time since the 2021 campaign, but also hopeful that the All-Star can inject some life into a Padres has scored a total of two runs over its last four games.
Luckily for the Padres, Juan Soto's solo homer on Wednesday afternoon was enough as four Padres pitchers (including starter Nick Martinez, who scattered three hits over 7.0 innings of work) shut out the Atlanta Braves. The win lifted San Diego to 9-11 and certainly started the journey to Phoenix on a bright note.
That journey is likely to get even better past Thursday for the Friars as well. Not only is the club expecting Tatis to return in Arizona, but Joe Musgrove is penciled in for his first action of the season as the tentative starter for Saturday's game against the Diamondbacks.
San Diego Padres starting lineup vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
When the official lineup is released, we will update the information here. However, we are expecting Tatis to be a part of the starting nine on Thursday, likely taking his place in right field.
Which San Diego Padres players needs to bounce back against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday?
Is it too much to list the vast majority of the position players here? As mentioned above, runs have been tough to come by for the Padres in recent games. Entering Thursday, San Diego's .233 team batting average is 28th among MLB's 30 teams while the team OPS+ of 93 (league average is 100) in the bottom third of the league.
Who are the starting pitchers for the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday?
It will be a battle of right-handers as Michael Wacha (2-1, 6.06 ERA) is expected to take the mound for the Friars, while Ryne Nelson (1-0, 3.71 ERA) gets the call for Arizona.
How do I watch the San Diego Padres-Arizona Diamondbacks game?
The Thursday night tilt is scheduled to begin at 6:40 p.m. (Pacific time) inside Chase Field. The game will be shown by both the Padres (Bally Sports San Diego) television network as well as the host TV network for the Diamondbacks (Bally Sports Arizona Extra). Additionally, MLB Network is expected to show the game as part of its nightly coverage. You can also catch the game through MLB's subscription service (where not blacked out) via MLB.tv.