Talk about a change of fortunes.
On this date (July 26) last season, the Arizona Diamondbacks at this point in the season were buried in the NL West cellar with a dismal 37-62 record, while the San Diego Padres were in first place by three games over the eventual World Series champ San Francisco Giants.
This year, as every happy D-Backs fan knows, is a brand-new ballgame, as the scrappy locals find themselves solidly in second-place, just four games back of a very strong Giants team with a surprising 55-47 record.
San Diego has gone in the exact opposite direction. Last year, they were 58-39 on this date, though they played only .500 ball the rest of the way to finish one agonizing game behind San Francisco for the division title.
The Padres are reminiscent of last year's D-Backs in more than just their dismal 45-58 record. They lead MLB in strikeouts, something that Arizona has had a toehold on for some years now.
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As a brilliant coach once told us, it's hard to put runs on the board when you don't hit the ball (see Mark Reynolds, et al.).
Tonight's game at Petco Park is slated for a 7:05 start and will be broadcast on Channel 34, as well as on KTAR620,
Lefty Joe Saunders, who has given Arizona some quality starts in the last month or so, gets the nod, and righty Dustin Moseley--who has the same 6-8 record as Joe--goes for the Pads.