I feel like I say this at the 81-game mark every year, but it does not seem like half of a baseball season has already passed. The Padres will try to end a frustrating first half with a win tonight as they face Arizona in the second game of a three-game set. The Diamondbacks won the first game of the series last night to move their record against San Diego this season to 5-2; the cellar-dwelling snakes are slithering closer to the Friars in the standings as well.
Eric Stults will take his completely-opposite-of-league-leading 5.49 ERA to the hill for the Friars, attempting to avoid his eleventh loss which would break his tie with Brandon McCarthy for most in the NL. Even better would be if he picked up his third win; he actually pitched uncharacteristically well his last time out, allowing just two earned runs on six hits and three walks scattered over seven innings, but the offense wasn't there to back him up. If you're the type to pick out one thing and declare it emblematic of another larger thing, that would be a solid choice for your example of the first half of the Padres' 2014 season in a nutshell.
Josh Collmenter will grit his way up to the mound for Kirk Gibson's scrap-heap, looking to bump his record up to 7-4. This will be his fourteenth start of the year to go along with five relief appearances. The last of these came on Tuesday when he vultured a win with a scoreless fourteenth inning.
Tonight's game starts the same time as last night's -- that's 7:10pm PDT, in case these games are starting to run together for you. One can only hope the Padres fare better than they did a day ago, but even if they don't, at least everyone in attendance gets a trilby out of the deal. They're promoting it as a fedora, but it isn't one. And if you don't know, now ya know...