Arizona Diamondbacks (42-42)
@ New York Mets(44-42)
I heard the Diamondbacks will be playing the New York Mets. Baseball traditions and rules had their roots in New York. Current tradition starts with pre-game singing of the Star Spangled Banner. Later, during the seventh inning stretch, traditional songs are Take Me Out to the Ball Game, and God Bless America. When in Camden Yards tradition includes Thank God I'm a Country Boy. For this series, the Diamondbacks will hear the Met’s fight song – Meet the Mets. As I imagine a pre-game jet flyover - whoooooooooooooooooossshhhhhhh – my heart beats with renewed energy. It cries out, "God bless America, my home sweet home."
As the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, it's time to talk about trades. Could the Diamondbacks trade with the Mets? The Diamondbacks need pitchers, which the well-stocked Mets' farm system could provide. The Mets need hitters, especially right handed hitters! Their GM, Sandy Alderson, has said he is prepared to overpay for the right player. He said he may make one trade at the trade deadline, but "we’re not going to be making two, three, four, five moves." Because the Diamondbacks are focused on 2016 and 2017, I will talk about trades at the minor league level.
Years ago, Nick Evans was with the Mets. They granted him free agency, and now he is a Diamondback in Reno. In May he was PCL player of the week, and since then he has been the third highest ranked hitter in AAA. In return for Nick Evans, the Mets could send back two starting pitching prospects, Mathew Bowman and Luis Cessa. Mathew Bowman has a 95 mph fastball, but needs to find a way to pitch better against left handed hitters. Luis Cessa has great control but fades in late innings. I predict one of these two prospects will be Major-League ready by late 2016, and the other will be a bust.
Peter O'Brien is a power right-handed hitter in Reno. The Diamondbacks have better outfielders, so he could be traded to the Mets. In return for Peter O'Brien, the Mets could send back Marcos Molina. They are close to evenly rated prospects - 2015 Baseball America Top 10 Scouting Reports ranked O'Brien as the #8 Diamondback prospect and Molina as the #9 Mets prospect. Although Marcos Molina is only 20 years old, Quinn Barry, in a Fansided article, said Marcos Molina will be Major-League ready by late 2016 or early 2017. This trade would be a win-win trade, with each club getting something it needs.
The Mets rank last in the National League in hits and runs scored. Mets are scoring 3.5 runs per game, at the slowest pace since 1968. Their best two hitters, Wright and d’Arnaud, are on the 15 day DL.
Diamondbacks are scoring 4.6 runs per game, and lead the National League in runs scored. Paul Goldschmidt has an unreal OPS+ of 194. Welington Castillo has a great OPS+ of 149. Jake Lamb and A.J Pollock have recently increased their OPS+ to 121. The Diamondbacks offense will be music to our ears.
In the last two weeks, the Deserved Run Average (DRA) improved for Rubby De La Rosa, Jeremy Hellickson, and Robbie Ray. Robbie Ray retains the top spot. Patrick Corbin joins the list. His DRA is tentative based on only 5 innings. Let's look at the current five starting pitchers’ DRAs and ERAs.
|Rubby De La Rosa||4.26||4.89|
The Mets’ number one prospect Noah Syndergaard (58.2 innings, 3.38 ERA) and number two prospect Steven Matz(13.2 innings,1.32 ERA) have joined their rotation. Mets team pitching ranks third in the National League (Diamondbacks rank 12th). I expect the Diamondbacks are much better than their rank because some pitchers are returning from injury, while other pitchers are slowly progressing. Let’s look at the pitching matchups.
Friday. Chase Anderson (3.55 DRA, 3.71 ERA) vs Noah Syndergaard (3.51 DRA, 3.38 ERA). Song of the game is "Red River Valley."
When Chase Anderson pitches, the Diamondbacks win! The Diamondbacks have won 5 of the last six games in which Chase Anderson started. On 6 June against the Mets, Chase Anderson allowed 1 earned run in 5.2 innings. This experience contrasts sharply with the rookie status of Noah Syndergaard. I predict that the Diamondbacks win this game.
Saturday. Patrick Corbin (8.40 DRA, 3.60 ERA) vs Matt Harvey (3.54 DRA, 3.11 ERA). Song of the game is "Yellow Rose of Texas."
Patrick Corbin's is a core player in the Diamondback future. Just to see him pitch and stay healthy feels like a win. Matt Harvey has pitched very well in his last four games. Unless some breaks help the Diamondbacks, the Diamondbacks may lose this game.
Sunday. Rubby De La Rosa (4.26 DRA, 4.89 ERA) vs Steven Matz (2.35 DRA, 1.32 ERA). Song of the game is "Dueling Banjos."
Can Rubby De La Rosa bounce back from his start against Colorado? The answer is yes because his four games prior were well pitched! Steven Matz has pitched one game in the majors this year, and it was 7.2 innings with 6 strike outs and 2 earned runs allowed. This game could be a pitching duel. By this point, New York will have burned their best relievers (Familia, Gilmaster, and Torres) so I predict the Diamondbacks will win this game.
Recent Impact Players
In the last two weeks, the Diamondbacks continue to win close games. Players who hit 2 or more RBIs in close games included Welington Castillo, Jake Lamb(twice), and Cliff Pennington. Robbie Ray pitched 7.2 inning with zero earned runs allowed against the Rangers.
Special recognition was earned by Brad Ziegler who recently earned his 14th save in 16 opportunities.
Based on wins so far, and projecting future games based on runs scored and allowed the Diamondbacks are on pace for 81.6 wins this season. However, based on the last ten games, projected season wins would be 94.0, which means the post-season is possible. My prediction of 78 wins this season seems less optimistic than before the season started.
In two weeks I will relook at this projection. Meanwhile, the upcoming series against the Mets will be well worth watching, and I predict our Diamondbacks will win two games.
Food of the Series
Small cheesecakes were served to athletes during the first Olympic games held in 776 B.C. on the Isle of Delos. However, they were more like cheese bread than cake. The essential ingredient in cheesecake is the type of cheese. The type of cheese changed over history. Martha Washington's cookbook had three cheesecake recipes – they were made with fresh curds. Also, cheesecakes were made with cottage cheese.
Cheesecake history was forever changed in the 1870s, in the Catskill Mountains. Cream cheese was invented!! Because I love cats, I would have named it cat cream cheese. Instead, it went nameless for about 10 years until it was named Philadelphia cream cheese, but that is another story. In the 1900s, cheesecakes were very popular in New York. That is where Jewish style cheesecake was made with cream cheese. I raise my fork to the food of the series - New York Cheesecake!
This week, the Diamondbacks climbed a mountain!