There Is No Bright
Side In Desert
Just about everything that could go wrong this season has for Arizona, the team with the worst record and run differential in the majors. Actually the Snakes have been decent on the road but are 3-15 at home. The record for home games lost in a season is 59 (out of 77 played) by the 1939 St. Louis Browns. The NL mark is 58 (out of 80) by the expansion 1962 Mets. It may be just a matter of time before GM Kevin Towers and/or Manager Kirk Gibson get their walking papers. After all, it's Towers who signed off on that franchise-record $110 million payroll.
Mark Trumbo was off to a good start for Arizona with seven home runs and 19 RBIs in 21 games before he was lost to a foot injury that will keep him out several more weeks. Of course ace Patrick Corbin was lost in the spring to season-ending Tommy John surgery. Arizona has perhaps the No. 1 pitching prospect in baseball in Archie Bradley, but he was put on the minor-league disabled list this week with a mild flexor strain in his elbow. He won't be back for a few weeks at least but at least he has avoided Tommy John surgery, although those types of flexor strains can lead down that road. So much for calling him up anytime soon.
If you have bet against Arizona in every game Brandon McCarthy (0-5, 5.54) has started this season, you have done very well considering the team has all six of them. The right-hander has been much better of late, allowing a combined six earned runs over 17.2 innings in his past three starts. He struck out a season-high 12 Phillies in his last start and gave up just two runs over seven innings but Arizona was shutout for the second time this year in a game McCarthy started. In fact, the Snakes have scored a combined four runs in his past four starts.
Last season, McCarthy was 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three starts against the Padres. The one at Petco didn't go well as he allowed four runs in six innings in a loss. San Diego catcher Nick Hundley is 3-for-9 with a home run and three RBIs off McCarthy so he could get the start ahead of No. 1 catcher Yasmani Grandal. Hundley actually leads the majors' worst offense with a .324 average entering Friday but has gotten only 34 at-bats. Want to know why he doesn't start much? San Diego is 0-6 when he does. The team's ERA is 5.10 when Hundley is back there compared to Grandal's 3.00. Chris Denorfia is 2-for-6 off McCarthy, and he owns Arizona in his career. Entering Friday, Denorfia has hit .339 with nine home runs and 20 RBIs against the Diamondbacks. The Padres remain without two regulars, outfielder Carlos Quentin and third baseman Chase Headley, both on the DL.
San Diego starts Ian Kennedy (2-3, 3.16), who was acquired from Arizona last summer for lefty reliever Joe Thatcher, a prospect and a draft pick. Thatcher has been solid this year, but the Diamondbacks, with a rotation ERA that is a whopping 6.29 (they and Twins only teams over 5.10), could really use Kennedy right now. Kennedy made two starts against Arizona last year, going 1-0 with a 6.35 ERA in 11.1 innings. Gerardo Parra is 3-for-5 with a home run and five RBIs off Kennedy. Paul Goldschmidt is 2-for-5 with two doubles.
MLB free picks: San Diego -143 and over seven runs at +105 on MLB odds. The Diamondbacks have lost seven straight Saturday games. They are 1-7 in McCarthy's past eight on the road. The over is 5-0 in Arizona's past five Saturday games.