Arizona's trip to the Rocky Mountains was not pleasant, as Arizona was swept in four games by the Colorado Rockies. The bullpen failed Vidal Nuno yet again on Thursday night in giving up four runs, including a two-run walk off home run to Wilin Rosario in the 7-6 loss. The pitching staff got rocked on Friday night, giving up a season-high 15 runs en route to a 15-3 loss that saw them drop out of fourth place. Trevor Cahill struggled yet again on Saturday, giving up five runs over five innings, giving Colorado all the runs they needed in their 5-1 win. Wade Miley also got rocked in Sunday's series finale, giving up six runs over 4.1 innings as Colorado rolled 8-3. Arizona has lost six in a row, and seven of their last ten, dropping their road record to 30-48 on the season. They are 62-94 overall this season, 27 games behind the Dodgers for first place in the NL West. They are three games behind the Rockies for fourth place in the division.
The D-Backs offense is atrocious, ranking 28th in wRC+ (84) and 25th in offensive WAR (10.5), batting .248/.302/.375 with a .300 wOBA. They also rank 25th in the majors in wRAA (-53.5). Coming off of a shellacking in Colorado, the pitching staff ranks 26th in team ERA (4.27), 20th in FIP (3.87), and 25th in pitching WAR (10.1). They do, however, rank tenth in the league in SIERA (3.59).
Minnesota has put together a solid offense this season, ranking eighth in wRC+ (101) and 15th in offensive WAR (17.2), batting .253/.323/.391 with a .317 wOBA. They also rank eighth in the majors in wRAA, posting a total of 28.5. Where they struggle is pitching, as they rank 29th in team ERA (4.63), 26th in FIP (4.01), and 21st in pitching WAR (11.8). They also rank 29th in SIERA, posting a number of 4.07.
The Twins come into the series after taking just one of three games from Cleveland to continue their final home stand of the season. They are 3-3 on the current home stand, and are 33-45 at home this season. They are 66-89 overall, 20 games behind the Tigers for first place in the AL Central.
On The Mend
Diamondbacks right hander Daniel Hudson will likely be shut down for the rest of the season, according to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com.
Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks remains day-to-day with a back injury, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com.
Believe it or not, going into the final week of the season the Arizona Diamondbacks are in a competitive race: dead last in the majors and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft.
#Dbacks need one more win in final six games to avoid 100 losses.— Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB) September 22, 2014
Their competition? The 62-93 (and manager-less)Texas Rangers, who currently trail the Snakes by a half game in their quest for the bottom spot in the majors. The Rangers have been on a hot streak of late, having won eight of their last ten games.
Texas plays Houston in a three game set starting on Monday, which could give the Rangers a chance to beef up their record a bit. However, they could very well be swept in their final four-game set against the Athletics as Oakland pushes for a playoff spot in the American League. Arizona plays a struggling Minnesota team, but wraps up the season against the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals at Chase Field.
So watch D-Backs baseball this final week as they battle for one of baseball's most infamous honors: the worst record!
Game 1, Monday 5:10 PT: RHP Josh Collmenter (10-8, 3.60 ERA, 3.99 FIP) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (5-11, 5.34 ERA, 4.29 FIP)
Collmenter has pitched well since struggling against the Marlins on Aug. 17th, posting a 1.01 ERA in that time. He gave up two runs over eight innings in a loss to the Giants in his last start. He is 3-4 with a 4.95 ERA on the road this season, and is trying to set a new career-high in wins. Nolasco has rebounded after a poor start to the season, and has a 3.09 ERA over his last five starts. He threw eight scoreless in his last start, picking up the no-decision.
Game 2, Tuesday 5:10 PT: LHP Andrew Chafin (0-0, 1.64 ERA, 3.85 FIP) vs. RHP Kyle Gibson (12-11, 4.64 ERA, 3.88 FIP)
Chafin has been great over his first two big league starts, giving up just two runs over 13 innings and striking out five. He was 5-6 with a 5.34 ERA in 17 appearances for Triple-A Reno this season. Gibson has been knocked around a bit of late, but turned things around towards the end of his last start, picking up the win despite giving up four runs over six innings. He is 5-4 with a 4.48 ERA at home this season.
Game 3, Wednesday 10:10 PT: LHP Vidal Nuno (2-11, 4.60 ERA, 3.90 FIP) vs. RHP Phil Hughes (15-10, 3.61 ERA, 2.68 FIP)
Nuno has been stellar since being dealt to Arizona (3.78 ERA), but still has yet to pick up his first D-Backs win. In fact, the team has only won in one of his starts. He gave up three runs over 5.1 innings in his last start against Colorado. Hughes has been a workhorse, going at least seven innings in his last eight starts and posting a 2.65 ERA in those starts. He gave up four runs over seven innings in his last start, a no-decision against Cleveland.
I'd say Arizona takes just one of three from this set to prevent a 100-loss season, with the most likely victory coming in Monday's opener. Collmenter has been great of late, and will be rewarded as Arizona's offense finally breaks out. Chafin has pitched well this season but has not been tested, and Nuno has pitched well but not gotten the run support he has needed for wins.