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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #23: I Can Has Momentum?

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Well, I guess we did at least outscore the Cardinals over the last two innings last night. Will that carry forward this evening?

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Adam Wainwright
RHP, 0-3, 7.25
Patrick Corbin
LHP, 1-2, 3.51
Matt Carpenter - 1B Jean Segura - 2B
Stephen Piscotty - RF Jake Lamb - 3B
Matt Holliday - LF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Randal Grichuk - CF David Peralta - CF
Yadier Molina - C Yasmany Tomas - LF
Jedd Gyorko - 2B Welington Castillo - C
Ruben Tejada - 3B Brandon Drury - RF
Aledmys Diaz - SS Nick Ahmed - SS
Adam Wainwright - RHP Patrick Corbin - LHP

The run of offensive output for the Diamondbacks ground to an abrupt halt, but perhaps Wainwright is the cure. He missed almost all of 2015 with a ruptured Achilles, and still seeks his first W. It has been a tough road back, perhaps best shown by the fact Wainwright actually allowed a home-run to the Atlanta Braves. Coming into play today, Max Scherzer was the only other of the 56 major-leaguers to have pitched against Atlanta this year to have done that. But it has been less the long-ball than control, with Wainwright having a K:BB ratio of 10:9 in his 22.1 innings of work. After four starts, his high for strikeouts is...three. In his last full year (2014), he fanned more than that 25 of 32 appearances, so has been struggling.

Bit of a different look for the Diamondbacks, with Chris Owings being given a break from CF. Instead, we see the most experienced major-league outfielder on the roster there, in Peralta, flanked by Tomas and Drury at the corner spots. I'm thinking bringing the fences in at Chase might be a good idea. If we can perhaps also add some around the edge of the infield, that might be generally for the best. Let's just hope Corbin is dialing up a lot of ground-balls for the vacuum cleaner which is the infield: The D-backs overall UZR metric this year sits at 0.8, which is good enough for 13th in the majors. But if you filter that down to the outfield, we are at -2.6, only 20th.

Still, as long as you score more runs than the opposition, we'll be down with that. A win tonight will push the team back above .500 and guarantee at least a split of the 4-game series. With April finishing in a series against the Rockies, who are looking a good deal more vulnerable than they were at the start of the month, a win tonight would all but guarantee us getting through April at or above .500. Victory here means we'd then have to lose out the rest of the way, in order to end April in possession of a losing record. Avoiding that, given the obvious struggles in some areas, would be more than acceptable.