After suffering a potentially devastating 8-5 loss to the Padres on Wednesday night, with closer Fernando Rodney coughing up five runs in the ninth, the D-backs will be measured on how well they regain their focus.
"It rips your heart out," manager Torey Lovullo said. "The good teams are able to come back from these moments, digest it, spit it out and be ready for tomorrow. We will feel this, and Iknow these guys a're going to come out here tomorrow and be ready to perform. That's going to be the key for me."The D-backs (14-9) won the first two games of the series and could have moved into first place in the NL West had Rodney been able to preserve a 5-3 lead. Instead, the Padres got a momentously uplifting win, and the D-backs will have to show their resiliency and get back into a positive place ahead of this weekend's series with the first-place Rockies.
Walker (2-1, 4.57 ERA) did not receive a decision in his last start, a 13-5 victory over the Dodgers on Friday. He gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, and he struck out six.
Walker is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in two career appearances against San Diego, both while pitching for Seattle in 2015. He limited the Padres to one hit and no walks over six innings in their most recent encounter -- a 7-0 victory on July 1, 2015.
Walker has cut down his home run rate significantly in the small sample size of 2017, giving up only two in 21 2/3 innings. That's a rate of 0.8 per nine innings, compared with last season's 1.8 per nine with the Mariners.
Weaver is in his first season with the Padres after spending 11 with the Los Angeles Angels. Only two of his 326 career starts have been against the D-backs -- one in 2009 and the other in 2015. He's 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA in those two starts.
Weaver gave up four hits and two runs over six innings against the Marlins in his most recent start on Saturday. He was not involved in the decision for a third consecutive start, although he gave up only two earned runs in each of the three starts.
The 34-year-old Weaver, who has 150 career wins, gets by with guile more than stuff. He throws an 84 mph fastball and strikes out only 5.09 batters per nine innings, but he's walked just four batters in his first four starts. He's extremely home run prone: seven in 23 innings this season, after surrendering 37 in 178 a year ago with the Angels.
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Take it from the top
The top three in the D-backs order have been murder on the Padres. A.J. Pollock has reached base seven times in the series and scored six runs; David Peralta has reached base in 8 of 9 plate appearances and scored four times; and Paul Goldschmidt has also reached base in 8 of 9 plate appearances, scored three runs and driven in six.
All told, they are 17 for 27 with six walks (.697 on-base percentage), 13 runs and eight RBI.
Goldschmidt's team-record-tying streak of reaching base in nine consecutive plate appearance came to an end in Wednesday's eighth inning, but Peralta is in striking distance of the same record, with a streak of seven in a row entering the series finale. Peralta is on a 19-for-33 tear, raising his average from .178 to .346 over the past 11 days.
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Thorns in the side
Padres shortstop Erick Aybar is 7 for 46 against the rest of the league (.152) but 6 for 19 (.316) with two home runs, a double and two stolen bases against the D-backs.
Third baseman Ryan Schimpf was mired in a 3-for-53 slump (.057) when he came to the plate in the ninth inning on Wednesday night and promptly put the Padres over the top with a three-run homer to deep right field.
Schimpf has his seven of his 24 career home runs against the Diamondbacks, and he five of those have come at Chase Field in just eight games.
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