Arizona (27-42) at San Diego (34-34)

Partly Cloudy Currently: San Diego, CA
Temp: 75° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Mon Jun 21, 2004
  • TV: KTVK, Ch4
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Acquired in the deal that sent Curt Schilling to Boston, Casey Fossum has been a major disappointment during his first season with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The left-hander will try to begin reversing that perception when the Diamondbacks open a three-game series with the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

Fossum, pitchers Brandon Lyon and Jorge de la Rosa and outfielder Michael Goss were the four players the Diamondbacks got for Schilling from the Red Sox last November. Thus far, the highly touted southpaw has struggled to make a difference for last-place Arizona, winning just one of his first six decisions since joining the team in May.

Fossum, who underwent shoulder surgery last September, failed to build off his first win of the year, a 3-0 victory at Baltimore on June 10 in which he scattered five hits over six strong innings.

He was pounded for a season-high eight runs and nine hits over 4 2-3 innings in Wednesday’s 9-4 loss to the New York Yankees, dropping to 0-2 with a 9.22 ERA in three starts at Bank One Ballpark this year.

“It’s just tough,” Fossum said after yielding four runs in the first inning. “You can’t afford to walk anybody because there’s always someone better on deck.”

Manager Bob Brenly was equally frustrated.

“They just never let him get comfortable out there,” Brenly said. “They didn’t even give him a chance to establish anything. They were hitting anything they saw close to the strike zone.”

Fossum has allowed at least five runs in three of his seven starts.

The Diamondbacks have lost five of six, including a three-game home sweep at the hands of the surging Tampa Bay Devil Rays over the weekend. After being outscored 17-6 in dropping the first two games, Arizona suffered a tough 2-1 loss Sunday, squandering a strong pitching performance by Brandon Webb.

The Padres have dropped seven of eight to slip into third place in the NL West after battling for the division lead for most of the first two months of the season. On Sunday, Miguel Batista and the Blue Jays shut San Diego down as the Padres suffered a 3-0 loss.

Making matters worse, Padres catcher Ramon Hernandez had to be helped off the field after being injured making a putout at the plate in the seventh inning. Although the team didn’t know the severity of the injury, Hernandez said it didn’t hurt as much as when he sprained the same knee in a home-plate collision five years ago, putting him on the disabled list for a month.

“It feels a lot better than it did in ’99,” Hernandez.

Hernandez was scheduled to be taken for an examination after the game.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Fossum NYM vs. I. Valdez Mia
4-15 Record 14-9
6.65 ERA 5.19
117 K 67
63 BB 49
1.65 WHIP 1.48