|6:40 PM PT7:40 PM MT8:40 PM CT9:40 PM ET21:40 ET1:40 GMT9:40 6:40 PM MST8:40 PM EST9:10 PM VEN5:40 UAE (+1)8:40 PM CT, September 4, 2019
Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona Attendance: 18,096
D-backs playing underdog card in wild-card race
With work to be done to advance to the postseason, the Arizona Diamondbacks received some video motivation on Labor Day.
In the pregame hitters' meeting, players were shown highlights of track races in which the early leader was caught celebrating too early and was passed at the finish line. (No, the Leon Lett/Don Beebe Super Bowl chase-down was not among them.)
Arizona has won its two games since the viewing after stopping San Diego 2-1 on Tuesday in Phoenix, and the Diamondbacks will send rookie Zac Gallen (2-4, 2.79 ERA) to face rookie Chris Paddack (8-7, 3.69) in the finale of a three-game series Wednesday night.
"It was a great video, a metaphor for what we have going on," first baseman Christian Walker said.
"Everybody is kind of sleeping on us and not really expecting much, but we know what we are capable of, and we know what is going to happen this next month. I think we are excited, and I think motivation is a great word to describe however everybody feels."
Arizona manager Torey Lovullo brainstormed the idea with the front office after a 4-3, 11-inning loss to the Dodgers on Sunday.
"The Dodgers series was a very emotional series," said Lovullo, whose team took three of four. "Our thought to the group was, 'Let's have the mentality that we can chase down anybody that we need to.' "
Arizona has won eight of nine and 11 of 15 but remains 3 1/2 games behind the Cubs for the second National League wild-card spot. Philadelphia is also in the way, 2 1/2 games back.
The Diamondbacks have won their last three series and are looking for their second sweep in that stretch behind Gallen, 1-1 with a 2.88 ERA in five starts with Arizona. He is 0-1 in his last four starts despite giving up only eight runs. He is 1-0 with three starts at Chase Field.
Paddack, who leads NL rookie qualifiers with a 1.01 WHIP and is second with 129 strikeouts, gave up one run in seven innings to beat San Francisco in his most recent outing. That ended a four-game skid in which he had given up 19 earned runs in 17 innings to push his ERA to a season-high 3.84.
Paddack missed the 2017 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and has thrown a professional high 124 1/3 innings this season, but the idea that he will be shut down soon appears exaggerated.
"We've said this all season long -- he is going to take his next start. We'll evaluate what he feels like after that start. If he feels good, he'll throw his bullpen. If his bullpen feels good, he's going to start again," San Diego manager Andy Green said.
"We do not at this point in time have a specific day when that's over. If he gets to an innings point where we feel like enough's enough, we'll talk to him. Right now, all I've told him is to keep moving forward and keep expecting to take the baseball and getting better.
"His last outing was very encouraging. Sometimes going through the fight and a little bit of the struggles (is) really positive for a young guy. His health is up there for us. The most important thing is to get through the year that way. Everything looks really good right now."
In two starts against the Diamondbacks this season, Paddack is 1-0, and the Padres have won both games. He has given up two runs in 11 1/3 innings.
Paddack made his third major league start against Arizona on April 12, a no-decision in which he gave up one run in 5 1/3 innings.
--Field Level Media
Updated September 4, 2019