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Padres Preview 4/20: Clayton Richard vs. Patrick Corbin and the Arizona Diamondbacks

Can the Padres build momentum off of last night’s win?

MLB: San Diego Padres at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, Jhoulys Chacin went toe-to-toe with Zack Greinke in the best pitcher’s duel we’ve seen this season. Erick Aybar was the unexpected hero with a solo shot that proved to be the only run of the game. Tonight Clayton Richard squares off against Patrick Corbin as the Padres look to close the gap against the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks.

Clayton Richard will need to bring his “A” game to keep a potent Diamondbacks offense in check. His first start of the season was an eight-inning gem against the Dodgers, but his two starts since have been more of the lackluster variety. His latest outings have each run six full innings, surrendering four earned runs apiece and lacking the efficiency and effectiveness that made him tear through the Dodgers lineup in his first start. Maybe Chacin’s performance can give Richard a target to follow. Keeping the ball down and inducing ground balls from the Diamondbacks’ sluggers would help keep the scoring down.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Corbin gets the start for the Diamondbacks. His three starts this season have improved from his four-inning, ineffective initial start, but he’s still struggled through his appearances. He throws a four-seam fastball that can run into the upper ninties and pairs that with a slider that’s particularly effective against lefthanded hitters, as well as a changeup that he sprinkles in. A pretty standard repertoire, but the high heat and hard slider make for an effective combination somewhat like a lefty Tyson Ross.

Last night’s act is a tough one to follow, but it would be great to see the bats wake up. The Padres have quickly put up the worst run differential in the league by a wide margin (-31) and have scored more than two runs in just one of the last six games. If Clayton Richard can find some inspiration from Jhoulys Chacin, and the rest of the offense can build off what Erick Aybar pulled off last night, the Padres can earn a series win with one more to play tomorrow.

Game Time: 6:10 start PDT.
Radio: 94.9FM, La Poderosa 860AM (Sp.)
TV: FSSD, Fox Deportes SD, MLB Network
Online: MLB.tv