D-backs end disappointing month, season vs. Padres
SAN DIEGO -- The painful month of September and the season ends Sunday for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
While the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies are headed for the playoffs, the Diamondbacks will return to Phoenix on Sunday night after a horrible September cost them a shot at the National League West title.
Arizona led the division for 125 days this season. But an 8-18 record in the final month dropped them from first to third in the division race and entirely out of the playoff race.
The Diamondbacks will finish third in the NL West, although Saturday night's 5-4 win at Petco Park assured them their first back-to-back winning seasons since 2007-2008.
Meanwhile, the Padres won't lose 100 games. They have 96 losses going into the season finale.
Arizona will take a 12-6 series edge over the Padres into the last game of the season. Saturday night's win also assured the Diamondbacks of a winning record for the season against NL West opponents.
The Padres-Diamondbacks finale will be a matchup of left-handers.
Robbie Ray (6-2, 3.91 ERA) will start for Arizona against Padres rookie Joey Lucchesi (8-9, 4.14), who will make his 26th start of the season. Ray will make his 24th.
Lucchesi is the third rookie starter to face the Diamondbacks this weekend. It will be the sixth time he pitches against Arizona this season.
Lucchesi has been at his worst against Arizona, going 0-5 with a 6.85 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP. He has given up 18 runs, 26 hits and 12 walks, with 24 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings. He has allowed five homers by the Diamondbacks -- two apiece by Paul Goldschmidt and Nick Ahmed and one by A.J. Pollock.
Against the rest of the league, Lucchesi is 8-4 with a 3.29 ERA and a 1.256 WHIP. Opposing batters are hitting .256 this season against Lucchesi, with right-handed hitters batting .259 and left-handers .242.
Lucchesi will make his 16th career start at Petco Park, where he is 5-5 with a 4.07 ERA.
In Lucchesi's most recent outing last Sunday at Dodger Stadium, he allowed a career-worst seven runs, seven hits and two walks, with six strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. Three of the hits were homers, bringing his 2018 total to 21 homers allowed in 124 innings.
Ray is 3-0 with a 2.52 ERA in his last 10 starts. In the last seven outings, he has a 1.85 ERA and a .153 opponents' batting average.
Ray is 1-0 with a 4.20 ERA in three starts against the Padres this season, allowing seven runs in 15 innings. He is 5-4 lifetime against the Padres with a 3.99 ERA in 12 starts.
Ray is 3-1 in 11 road starts this season with a 2.95 ERA, a .187 opponents' batting average and a 1.182 WHIP.
Overall, opponents are hitting .213 against Ray this season with a 1.32 WHIP. Right-handed hitters are batting .219 against Ray and left-handers are hitting only .129 against him.