Off days are awful, and they're especially bad when they follow a brutal loss (not to mention the wrong end of a series sweep), so this evening's game against the similarly struggling Diamondbacks is an overdue delight. Left-hander Christian Friedrich will make his third start for the Padres, going up against fellow lefty Robbie Ray.
Friedrich has been, to put it kindly, lucky to be 0-1 with a 2.89 ERA. In his first start, two weeks ago in Milwaukee, he allowed just one earned run in six full innings despite allowing four hits and a whopping six walks. A week later against the Dodgers in his Petco Park debut, Friedrich got just ten batters out in the process of giving up six hits, three walks, and somehow just two earned runs.
Now in his third major league season, Robbie Ray seems to have settled into his role, and that role is tenuously clinging to the fifth spot in a rotation. He's consistently "meh" across the board, with his 2016 ERA of 4.18 just a smidge better than his career mark of 4.33. That number goes up to 4.96 versus the Padres, against whom he has taken the scarlet L in all three of his appearances. In 16.1 innings he has allowed 16 hits and five walks while striking out 16 of the 69 Friars who came to the plate. Then again, he hasn't faced the 2016 Padres, so it's hard to say how things will go for him.
Ray's first pitch is scheduled for 6:40, both their time and our time, since Arizona is obstinate about the whole Daylight Saving Time thing. Tune in to FOX Sports San Diego or 1090 AM and come join us in the game thread.