After opening their ten-game road trip by splitting a four-game set against the Padres, Arizona would be swept at the hands of the Dodgers in their most recent series. On Friday night, Diamondbacks starter Vidal Nuno fell victim to bad luck yet again despite a strong start (seven innings pitched, two earned runs on seven hits) as his offense did nothing in the 2-1 loss. The starting pitching was settled with bad luck yet again on Saturday night, as Chase Anderson's strong outing was undone by a three-run eighth inning in Arizona's 5-2 loss. Trevor Cahill got off to a great start in the series finale with five no-hit innings, but saw it all come undone in a three-run sixth-inning as the Dodgers went on to win 7-2. Arizona is now 30-41 on the road this season, and have won just four of their last ten overall. They are 59-84 overall this season, 22 games behind the Dodgers for first place in the NL West. They are currently tied with the Colorado Rockies for last place.
Arizona's offense remains atrocious, ranking 28th in wRC+ (85) and 25th in offensive WAR (10.3), batting .248/.303/.379 with a .301 wOBA.They rank 26th in the majors in wRAA (weighted runs above average) at -43.8. The pitching staff has struggled as well, ranking 25th in ERA (4.12), 18th in FIP (3.85), and 24th in pitching WAR (10.0). Their struggles, however, may be a response to some bad luck, as their SIERA (skill-interactive ERA) ranks ninth in the majors (3.56).
San Francisco's offense is secretly one of the best in the majors, ranking ninth in wRC+ (103) and fourth in offensive WAR (22.9), batting .256/.312/.395 with a .311 wOBA. They are around average when it comes to advanced metrics, as they rank 14th in the majors in wRAA (-1.2). Their staff, as always, has been one of the league's best, ranking seventh in team ERA (3.45), eighth in FIP (3.56), but are 27th in pitching WAR (8.0). They're one of the most skilled staffs in the league as well, ranking seventh in the majors in SIERA (3.55).
The Giants are coming into the series after taking two of three games from the Detroit Tigers, and are coming back home to kick off a six-game home stand. They've won seven of their last ten games overall, and come back to AT&T Park, where they are 38-33 this season. They're 78-65 this season, three games behind the Dodgers for first place in the NL West. They have a 3.5 game lead in the wild card race in the National League.
On The Mend
Diamondbacks right hander Brad Ziegler is expected to undergo season-ending surgery on his left knee Tuesday, according to Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic.
Posey or Bust(er)
Following a disappointing 2013 season, the San Francisco Giants have rebounded this year behind a revamped offense and a comeback year for star catcher Buster Posey. Behind the former NL MVP, the Giants are now within reach of the playoffs, and may even catch the Dodgers for first place in the division.
Posey himself has been extremely productive, leading the team in batting average (.309), home runs (20), RBIs (79), and on-base percentage (.362) and kicking off the month in the midst of a 23 for 49 stretch:
Game 1, Tuesday 7:15 PT: LHP Wade Miley (7-10, 4.18 ERA, 4.04 FIP) vs. RHP Yusmeiro Petit (4-3, 3.89 ERA, 2.67 FIP)
Miley pitched well in his last outing, giving up a run on seven hits over seven innings in a no-decision against the Padres. He's given up three earned runs or less in each of his last five starts, but has not picked up a win since July 30th. Petit has had mixed results since returning to the starting rotation, and gave up six runs on seven hits in a no-decision against the Giants. He has a 2.57 ERA in six appearances against the Diamondbacks in his career (two starts).
Game 2, Wednesday 7:15 PT: RHP Josh Collmenter (10-7, 3.81 ERA, 3.96 FIP) vs. RHP Ryan Vogelsong (8-10, 4.06 ERA, 3.87 FIP)
Collmenter is coming off of giving up a run on five hits over seven innings against the Padres, picking up the win and his third straight quality start. He is a win away from a career-high, and 3.1 innings away from a career-high in that statistic. Vogelsong is coming off of giving up eight runs on ten hits in a loss to the Rockies, easily his worst start of the season. Before that, he had given up three runs or less in each of his previous six starts.
Game 3, Thursday 12:45 PT: RHP Randall Delgado (3-3, 5.40 ERA, 3.73 FIP) vs. RHP Jake Peavy (5-13, 4.01 ERA, 4.25 FIP)
Delgado was impressive in his return to the rotation, throwing five shutout innings in picking up the win over the Padres. He has a 6.03 ERA on the road this season. Peavy hasn't given up a run in his last two starts (13.2 innings), picking up wins against the Brewers and the Tigers. He is 4-4 with a 2.36 ERA since being traded to the Giants and returning to the NL West.
I think Arizona takes one of three here, with the most likely game coming on Wednesday night. Collmenter has pitched well, and will continue to do so against the struggling Vogelsong. Miley should also give the team a good hot against Petit, who has never proven himself as a full-time starter. However, I do see the Rockies possibly knocking Arizona out of fourth place in the process, making for an interesting finish to the season.