Welcome to winning baseball Diamondbacks fans!!! Fresh off of a 4-game series win against the Giants, and a sweep of the defending AL champion Indians, we head off to the City by the Bay and initiate some déjà vu for our next series. A short turn around in series’ like this often times has ancillary effects, especially since hitters get to see most pitchers twice within one week’s time. But let’s see what is in store for our Arizona Diamondbacks as they take on the Giants for a three game series in San Francisco!
Game 1: Taijuan Walker vs. Matt Moore
In a rematch of the third game of the year, we will open the Giants home ball park with a matchup of Taijuan Walker versus Matt Moore. Moore started out strong during their last matchup, but then he ran into the buzz saw that has been the Arizona Diamondbacks middle innings offense. He ended the game having allowed 8 hits, 6 runs, 3 earned across 5.1 innings; let’s hope for the same results today! During that same game, Walker managed to go six full innings while striking out seven batters and getting the win in the process. However, he also gave up 7 hits, 1 BB, and 4 ER; yet, even those stats are misleading. Two of those “earned” runs were a direct cause from a hesitation from Drury, and a rare miscue/funky ball that was hit to Pollock. Otherwise, our brand new shiny toy did shiny things, and has me excited to see what he can do this year. Look for both pitchers to mix things up this start and attack hitters a little differently than they did last week.
Game 2: Robbie Ray vs. Jeff Samardzija
In what must have felt like Groundhog Day to the Giants, Jeff Samardzija also got off to a fast start against the Dbacks last week just like Moore had done the day before. However, also like Moore, he ended up going 5.1 innings while giving up 6 runs (all earned this time). Robbie Ray did Robbie Ray, and pitched a game that was a microcosm of who he is as a player; half brilliant, half frustrating. Ray went 5.2 innings while striking out 6, walking 3, giving up 3 ER, and needing 99 pitches to do so. Some things to look out for in this rematch would be to see if AZ can cut down on the strikeouts handed out from “Shark”. Even though we got to him in the end, the strikeouts raise some cause for concern and I would like to see the Dbacks cut down on them in general. As for Ray: This will likely be a common theme throughout the season, but look to see if he can put batters away once they get to two strikes and see if he can keep his pitch count in check. If he can do one of those things, we have a great chance of winning. If he can do both, then look out Giants!
Game 3: Shelby Miller vs. Matt Cain
In the one game that will not be a rematch of last week’s games, we have Shelby Miller taking on Matt Cain. For those of you who remember, Cain was once a true ace and terrorized the NL West from 2007-2012. During that six year stretch, he accumulated 27.6 bWAR (more than Madison Bumgarner has for his seven years!), won two World Series, pitched a perfect game, and had an ERA right around 3.00. Sadly for him and Giants fans, he appears to be on the down slope of his career and has struggled to ERA’s over 5.50 each of the last two years. His first start of 2017 was equally rough, having given up 4 runs over 4.1 innings. Shelby Miller on the other hand appears to have turned a corner after a disastrous 2016. Miller came out on Friday night against the Indians and looked really good. Well, not at first. He started off by giving up three runs in the first two innings, but he really settled down after that and started to hit his stride. His heater was sitting in the upper 90’s, and his secondary offerings looked sharp. Look out for Miller to continue to put 2016 in the rear view mirror, and build on his confidence on Wednesday.
Despite losing three of four to the Dbacks to open the year, the Giants offense actually did a good job that series by scoring 22 runs. Their offense as a whole so far in 2017 has been above average, being in the top 5 in most offensive categories in all of baseball. Averaging just under 5 runs per game, we can expect them to stay hot with the added benefit of playing in front of their home crowd this week. Leaders on their team are:
- Joe Panik: .400 average
- Brandon Belt: 3 HR and 7 RBI
- Eduardo Nunez: 4 SB
Overall, a great start to the 2017 Giants offense… But…
They’re not as good as Arizona! The Arizona offense has lit the world on fire to start the season, having scored 48 runs at the time of this writing, and leading all of baseball in just about every major category. In fact, Arizona leads the majors in:
And in the few categories that aren’t listed above, they rank in the top couple of teams. They are averaging almost 7 runs per game, and are really firing on all cylinders. They will face a tough test ahead of them in going on a long road trip, and facing some good pitchers, so we will see if they can maintain this torrid pace for a little while longer.
Individual performances for this team are almost not worth mentioning yet because each player has provided meaningful contributions, and no one player is hogging all of the offensive fun.
The Diamondbacks are off to a ridiculously hot start, having the best record in all of baseball. But it has been one week, so the Small Sample Size Monster looms large. At the moment, the Dbacks appear to be the better team between them and San Francisco, but having their home opener should not be taken lightly and can really provide a huge boost to any team (See: 2017 Arizona Diamondbacks). One added benefit for Arizona, is that we will not have to face Madison Bumgarner, his amazing pitching, or his stupid home runs… Man that guy is a freak in the best kind of way… This will be a battle of back of the rotation pitchers, batters who can make adjustments to last week, and whichever bullpen can avoid totally falling apart.
Despite the surge that the Giants receive from their home opener, I think that the momentum the Dbacks have right now is too much to overcome. I have more faith in our 3-4-5 pitchers than what I saw last week from their 3-4-5 pitchers. Arizona’s offense and back of the rotation starters will lead them to take 2 of 3 from San Francisco. Arizona will head off to the City of Angels with a record of 8-2 and in sole possession of first place in the NL West.
Go get some wins Dbacks!
How Many Wins for the Diamondbacks in San Diego?
This poll is closed
0 (I’m in a glass case of emotion!!)
1 (60% of the time, it works every time)
2 (Don’t act like you’re not impressed)
3 (Stay classy San Diego).