Well, my interest in D-Backs baseball has sure declined over the past week and a half. Dropping two to the A's began my loss of interest, followed by a split to the Rockies and a sweep from the Cubbies. Couple that with opening weekend of college football, and I actually haven't watched a game in the last week, which I know is what you want to hear from your preview guy. Looks like I didn't miss much, with Arizona getting outscored 22-9 in the series, with most of Arizona's runs being meaningless late scores. The Diamondbacks' 4 game skid puts them 7 games below .500, and it is looking more and more like La Russa's heart will be broken. It still feels like Arizona could go on an extended winning streak with how good their offense has looked at times, but it seems unlikely at this point they get to a .500 record.
If you are unhappy about the Diamondbacks' recent slide, go talk to some Giants fans and ask them how they are feeling. After putting themselves right into contention for the NL West title, San Fran rattled off 7 losses in a row, including 3 against LA before bouncing back to win two against the Rockies. The defecit still seems like it'll be too much though, as the Giants sit 7.5 games behind the Dodgers for the NL West crown. The pitching was solid for most of the losing streak, but the offense scored either 1 or 0 runs in 4 out of the 7 games, which is generally not ideal. I would not be opposed to the Giants doing this against Arizona though.
- The Cubs series is over. Rejoice.
- Congrats to Paul Goldschmidt, who if you haven't heard is now a father!
- Even with how terrible the last 10 games have seemed, the offense has remained respectable with 4 runs per game in that time span. Yeah, some of the runs have been scored when games are well out of reach late, but hey, they are still being scored.
There's a lot of bad things, but most of it is probably not news to you. Some of this includes:
- Paul Goldschmidt has been very un-Goldy like lately, with a triple slash of .250/.365/.500 in his last 12 games. This has been a recurring theme over the entire second half, one that hopefully ends soon.
- The bullpen, ugh. 6.12 ERA in the last week. No bueno. The Giants bullpen on the other hand has an ERA of 2.13 in that time span. Small difference between the two, eh?
- Over the last 2 weeks, the Giants have 5 hitters with more than 20 PAs batting over .300.
Jeremy Hellickson is still out with a left hamstring strain, and according to dbacks.com he is not slated to pitch for Arizona against the Giants. Brad Ziegler has been dealing with both arm and ankle soreness, and hasn't pitched since the 31st of August. The D-Backs shouldn't take any chances with the veteran's arm, who has made 58 appearances this year.
You might want to sit down before reading this looonnnggg list of injuries for San Fran. Lincecum, who just had hip surgery is done for the season, and pitcher Matt Cain is back on the DL. Second baseman Joe Panik will rejoin the team Monday after being on the DL with lower back problems. Reliever Jeremy Affeldt will also return on Monday, who has been out with a left knee issue. Hunter Pence is on the DL like it seems like he has been all year with an oblique strain. Nori Aoki is out with concussion symptoms. The Giants also just found out they're without both their backup catchers, Hector Sanchez and Andrew Susac for the rest of the season. That was sure fun to write.
Game 1: Patrick Corbin LHP (4-3, 3.67 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) vs Mike Leake RHP (9-7, 3.49 ERA, 1.11 WHIP with both Reds and Giants)
Corbin continues to be solid, his last start a 6.1 inning 2 run outing in Colorado. Corbin has either been really good or really bad this year. In his last 8 starts, 5 have been 6+ innings and 2 or less runs while 2 have seen Patrick just pitch into the 2nd. Need a good outing from him here to bring some stability to the rotation.
Leake is looking like a really good acquisition for the Giants, especially now that Lincecum is gone. He has made 4 starts for San Fran, going 6+ innings in each, and allowing 2 or less runs in 3 of them. Leake won't overpower you, but seems to throw just about everything. His primary pitch is the sinker, which he throws 48% of the time. Should be a really good matchup, tough to give either team an advantage.
Game 2: Chase Anderson RHP (6-5, 4.26 ERA, 1.31 WHIP) vs Ryan Vogelsong RHP (9-11, 4.58 ERA, 1.48 WHIP)
Anderson has been decent lately after an extremely rough patch, with a 2.55 ERA in his last 3 outings. Seems like being sent down to Reno then immediately recalled has motivated him to not be bad. Looks like part of Chase's recent success is throwing the fastball a lot more and the curve ball a lot less, which is the only real difference I can see between what he was doing during his rough stint and his recent success.
Due to injuries of others and performance issues, Vogelsong has gotten every opportunity to start... and kinda threw it away. His last three starts have been an absolute train wreck, he has not gotten through the fifth inning and gave up as many or more runs as innings he completed. Another impressive stat from those starts is that he gave up only one total home run over that stretch, so it's not like people are just getting that one timely hit. Other teams are loading up on hits like Myles Garrett against ASU on Saturday (If you watched the ASU game Saturday, you definitely know what I'm talking about).
Game 3: Zack Godley RHP (4-1, 3.62 ERA, 1.32 WHIP) vs Chris Heston RHP (11-9, 3.54 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)
Zack Godley... what happened? In his first start for the D-Backs in month after a couple solid relief outings, Godley got lit up for 6 runs over 3.2 innings. He walked SIX batters in that outing. I'm no pitching expert but I know that's not what you're supposed to do. In what is likely to be his last start of the season, it would be good to see him leave a good impression on the Diamondbacks when they consider him for the rotation next year.
Heston threw a no-no earlier this year, and has just been an okay pitcher since then. The rookie's last 6 starts have been very unimpressive, where he made it through the sixth inning only once. Heston throws a sinker, curve, and change according to pitch f/x, with his sinker being by far his best pitch. Again, tough to give either team an advantage in this one.
The X-Factor for this game is how the first 6 innings of the game go. This is when the D-Backs have the best chance to score, against San Fran's meh starters, and they can't take themselves out of the game immediately like they did against Chicago
Arizona can't quite get out of their funk, and loses 2 of 3 against Los Gigantes.