Perhaps a day off was what the Diamondbacks needed to reset after a painful sweep at the hands of the Giants, capped by consecutive blown saves. Despite wins in two of their last three series, the D-backs entered the off day beaten down by the bullpen struggles.
“This is a tough time,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said after Wednesday’s game. “We’ve just got to pick ourselves up. The off day will be a good time to come in tomorrow, go to San Diego and move on.”
As the D-backs start a six-game West Coast swing, here’s a look at where things stand before they meet the Padres.
Pitching matchups: Friday — LHP Wade Miley (2-0, 2.37 ERA) vs. RHP Jason Marquis (2-2, 4.20). Saturday — LHP Patrick Corbin (3-0, 1.91) vs. LHP Clayton Richard (0-3, 7.94). Sunday — RHP Ian Kennedy (1-2, 4.78) vs. RHP Edinson Volquez (1-3, 6.39).
Who’s hot for the D-backs: Saturday starter Patrick Corbin has yet to give up more than two runs in a game. He is one of three pitchers in the majors to open the season with five starts of six innings or more with two runs or fewer allowed. … After a lengthy cold spell, shortstop Cliff Pennington’s bat might be catching up to his defensive prowess. Pennington is 6 for 13 with two doubles, a home run and four RBI over the past four games. … Martin Prado might finally be coming around at the plate; he went 5 for 14 with a home run and double in the Giants series.
Who’s not: Catcher Miguel Montero remains mired in a slump, having gone 6 for 44 since his last extra-base hit, a double on April 18. He has two RBI since April 16. … Setup man David Hernandez has three blown saves over in a 10-game stretch. All three came against the Giants, including one Wednesday that gave San Francisco a series sweep.
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Catcher Nick Hundley is working on a seven-game hitting streak for the Padres.
Who’s hot for the Padres: Amid a seven-game hitting streak, catcher Nick Hundley is batting .379 (11 for 26) with a .400 on-base percentage, three doubles, two home runs and six RBI. … First baseman Yonder Alonso has been hot the Padres’ last two series, going 9 for 26 with three doubles, a home run and eight RBI over the seven-game stretch. … After a shaky start, closer Huston Street has converted three straight chances and posted four consecutive scoreless outings.
Who’s not: Outfielder Carlos Quentin had a home run, two doubles and three RBI against the Cubs on Tuesday but is hitless in four of his last five games, putting him in a 3-for-19 stretch. … Saturday starting pitcher Clayton Richard has been rocked his last two times out and is without a win through five starts. In his last two outings combined, Richard has thrown 7 1/3 innings and allowed 11 runs on 13 hits. … Outfielder Will Venable is in an 0-for-18 slump, hitless since April 23. Notes, quotes, odds and ends: The Padres shuffled their bullpen a bit Thursday, sending out left-hander Robbie Erlin and recalling right-hander Brad Boxberger from Triple-A Tucson. … Thursday was the D-backs’ first off day since April 15. Manager Kirk Gibson said the lengthy stretch played a part in the bullpen’s recent woes. Eight of the team’s league-high 10 blown saves have come in that stretch. … The Padres won 11 of their 18 meetings with the D-backs last season, but the D-backs won five of nine games in San Diego.