Well, that could have been much worse.
In Sunday’s series finale against the Chicago Cubs, the Padres trailed 1-0 and faced the prospect of losing three of four games to the worst team in the National League.
Instead, a four-run sixth fueled by heroics from Jedd Gyorko and pinch-hitter extraordinaire Carlos Quentin helped the Friars eke out a 4-3 win and salvage a series split. But they still went 2-4 on the homestand and face a 9 ½-game hole as they hit the road for Arizona this week.
Fortunately, the Diamondbacks are just percentage points ahead of the Cubs for worst record in the league – and a half-game ahead of Houston for worst in all of baseball – despite taking two of three from the Padres at the start of the month.
Monday, 5:10 p.m.: Tyson Ross (5-4, 2.64 ERA) vs. Brandon McCarthy (1-6, 4.67)
Make it four straight starts that Ross has gone exactly seven innings and given up exactly one earned run. He even has a pair of wins to show for it. After opening the season on a five-game losing streak, McCarthy has straightened things out, tossing four quality starts in his last five outings. He shut the Friars out over seven innings to pick up a win earlier this month.
Tuesday, 6:40 p.m.: Eric Stults (2-5, 4.97) vs. Wade Miley (3-5, 4.85)
Stults has walked just three batters since April 14, a stretch of seven starts. Miley has walked seven in his last two starts, both losses.
Wednesday, 6:40 p.m.: Tim Stauffer (2-0, 1.89) vs. Chase Anderson (2-0, 5.06)
Stauffer struck out five in as many innings to earn the win in his first start of the season on Friday. He has started 71 of his 152 major-league appearances. Before his call-up, the rookie Anderson was 4-2 with a 0.69 ERA in Double-A.
What’s at stake: Both teams come in stumbling, the D’backs having lost four of six and the Friars five of seven. In this battle of attrition, someone will stand alone in fourth place in the NL West. … Actually, the Padres will still be in fourth place even if they get swept – they lead Arizona by 3 ½ games – but if they do get swept by this team, well, it ain’t gonna matter much anyway.
The two teams will see each other again exactly one month from this week when the D’backs come to Petco.
Who to watch:
Padres: Despite being limited to pinch-hit duties, Quentin keeps on hitting. He had a pair of pinch-hit homers this week, plus an RBI single in his only at-bat on Sunday. Quentin is now 6-for-14 with five RBI after spending the first 1 ½ months of the season on the disabled list.
Seth Smith continues his staggering May. He’s hitting .375 with 15 extra-base hits this month. He keeps climbing the NL season leader board and is fourth in batting average (.333), slugging percentage (.600) and on-base percentage (.431).
Cameron Maybin had four hits over the weekend and is hitting .286 overall, but still has yet to drive in a run this season.
Diamondbacks: First baseman Paul Goldschmidt leads the team in all major categories, including average (.305), home runs (9), RBI (33), runs scored (35) and doubles (21). He also leads the league with 62 hits.
Since starting the season 0-for-13, outfielder A.J. Pollock has come on strong and is hitting .323 this month.
Catcher Miguel Montero has five homers and 24 RBI, but is 1 for his last 21 and hasn’t driven in a run in two weeks.
Up next: The Padres head to Da South Side of Chicago to face the White Sox this weekend before heading home to host the Pirates on Monday.