The Arizona Diamondbacks (55-47) continue their divisional tour with a three-game series against the San Diego Padres (45-58). After an underwhelming start to the season, the Padres are trapped in the basement of the NL West, 14.5 games behind the lead. Still, they cannot be taken lightly as manager Bud Black has turned the team around of late after splitting five of their last ten games, including a three-game sweep over the Florida Marlins.
Arizona enters this series after taking the final two of three games against the Colorado Rockies by a combined score of 19-3. Almost half of those runs came courtesy of the D-Backs young All-Star outfielder Justin Upton. With Stephen Drew out indefinitely after suffering a gruesome ankle injury, the 23-year old Upton led the team's turnaround on the heels of a blistering series, batting 7-for-9 with nine RBIs over the final two games. He hopes to carry that momentum into the roadtrip, as the Diamondbacks expect to face the bottom-end of the Padres rotation.
A newly bolstered bullpen should go to great lengths to help the All-Star in his quest. After an extended stay on the disabled list, Arizona has reinstated closer J.J. Putz onto 40-man roster. Putz, who last pitched June 28th, missed 19 games with right elbow tendinitis. Following recovery, the 34-year old allowed two hits with three strikeouts over four scoreless innings in four minor league rehabilitation appearances. Prior to the injury, Putz recorded 21 saves with a 3.12 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 34 games.
The D-Backs also placed infielder Geoff Blum onto the 15-day disabled list with a fractured right pinkie finger -- the first time in the 38-year old's career that he hit the list twice in one season. 25-year old outfielder Colin Cowgill was called up from Tripe-A Reno to take Blum's place on the roster. Cowgill has hit .354 this season for the Aces, adding 95 runs, 24 doubles, 8 triples, 13 home runs and 70 RBI in 98 games.
- Tuesday: Joe Saunders (6-8, 3.82) vs. Dustin Moseley (3-9, 3.19)
- Wednesday: Ian Kennedy (11-3, 3.22) vs. Corey Luebke (3-4, 2.65)
- Thursday: Daniel Hudson (10-6, 3.72) vs. Mat Latos (5-10, 4.05) [day game]
All games are televised locally on FSN AZ with the live game thread at AZ Snake Pit.
With the Colorado Rockies ticked off Arizona's "to do" list, the Diamondbacks head out on the road, for a sweep that will take them through the rest of the NL West. It starts of in San Diego, and you'd better get use to seeing these Padres, as we face them thirteen times over the last sixty games of this season. The good news is, they're in the cellar of the NL West for a reason, with only the crappy Cubs and appalling Astros having a worse record. On the other hand, they're 3-2 against us this year, so Arizona will be looking to improve on that this series.