After a rough start to a ten game road trip, the Diamondbacks win the last two games against the Dodgers, and salvage a series split with Los Angeles. Now 3-4 on the road trip, the Diamondbacks will take a good old fashioned bus down to San Diego for their next challenge. This three game series will see the tied-for-first-place Diamondbacks take on the tied-for-last-place Padres. Let’s see what we can expect for this mid-week series.
Game 1: Shelby Miller vs. Jarred Cosart
Shelby Miller has started off the year looking a lot better than he did when he started 2016, which isn’t saying much because he was pretty bad last year. This year, however, Miller has showed flashes of dominance mixed in with flashes of being very hittable. In both of his outings so far, he has gone 5.1 innings while giving up 3 ER, and lasting just over 100 pitches. If he can learn to avoid the meltdown innings while building on his confidence, then he could potentially blossom into a 2-3 type starter; If he doesn’t, then he will probably remain a high 4, low 5 ERA pitcher that struggles on a weekly basis. His opposite for this series opener will be Jarred Cosart for the Padres and he has only pitched 4.2 innings so far this year. His only start came as a fill in for an injured Luis Perdomo last week against the Rockies in Colorado. During that start he pitched well with four scoreless innings with 70 pitches (likely because he is not stretched out, being in the bullpen). Cosart’s career started off hot with Houston and Miami, but he has struggled around replacement level the last two years. Look for Shelby to try and get going against a weak Padres offense, and look for Cosart to build off a strong start in Coors Field.
Game 2: Zack Greinke vs. Jhoulys Chacin
Our $206 Million dollar ace will look to rebound after a very rough outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers, in which he was thoroughly outdueled by former teammate Clayton Kershaw. Greinke had an acceptable opening day start against the Giants, and a good start against the Indians in his second start, so hopefully the Dodgers start was an anomaly. Our expensive ace will take on a familiar face in Jhoulys Chacin. Jhoulys has been absolutely horrendous so far on the road this year having given up 13 ER across only 8.1 innings, but tossed 6.2 scoreless innings in his only home start so far. So, read into that what you will because something something small sample size, but we “should” have the pitching edge in this game. Look for Greinke to bounce back and forget about LA, and lookout for Chacin to continue to pitch well at home.
Game 3: Patrick Corbin vs. Clayton Richard
Lefty Duel! Even though Patrick’s last start (against the Dodgers) went in to the books as a Quality Start, it was far from “quality”. Not that he had any help from his defense, but he gave up 5 runs (3ER) across 6 IP, while allowing 9 hits and 3 BB. Corbin is a curious case, because he seems to have good stuff sometimes, while not fooling anyone at others. He has a 2.81 ERA on the season, but with a 7:7 K:BB ratio, he shouldn’t expect to continue to succeed. Look for Corbin to work on the K:BB ratio while taking advantage of a Padres offense that is struggling. Clayton Richard is a sinkerball lefty, and so far this year he has a 36:4 GO/AO ratio that would make even Brandon Webb smile. He doesn’t throw very hard, so look for the Dbacks to try and get the ball in the air against Richard and pounce on him early.
Outside of a Wil Myer’s cycle last week, the Padre’s offense this year has been about as exciting as watching water boil. The Padres rank dead last in the National League in Runs/Game, and are second worst in the majors behind only the struggling Blue Jays (I know right!). San Diego has the worst batting average in all of baseball, and they are sporting a triple slash of .208/.284/.368 as a team. They have some intriguing young pieces on their offense like Austin Hedges, Hunter Renfroe, and Manuel Margot, but so far the standout of their offense has been Myers.
After scoring 45 runs in their first six games of the season, the Diamondbacks have significantly cooled off since, scoring just 22 runs in their last eight games. During this eight game mini slump, they have not scored more than four runs in any game, but they have also managed to avoid being shutout (although just barely against Kershaw). To highlight just how hot the Dbacks offense was to start the year, even after the eight game dry spell they are still among the league leaders in most offensive categories.
Coming off of a 4 run and 10 hit performance to wrap up in Los Angeles, perhaps the Dbacks have some momentum heading into San Diego. Both A.J. Pollock and David Peralta are coming off of 4-5 games, and Lamb and Goldy seem to be having a decent to good start to the year, so there is room for optimism.
Even after a rough 1-4 start to the road trip, the Diamondbacks won 2 straight to split with the Dodgers. They now head to San Diego with a good opportunity of finishing this road trip at .500 or above. Both the pitching and the offense would appear to be in the Dbacks favor this series, but we are on the road, and the Padres are a division foe. Keep an eye out for Shelby, Greinke, and Corbin to pitch well in a pitcher’s park and go deep into the games, and see if the offense can get back to taco-ing.
The Dbacks will ride the surge of momentum from taking 2 of 4 from the Dodgers, and will come into San Diego and sweep a team while they are down. The Dbacks offense will get back on track, Greinke will dominate while bouncing back from his bad outing, and the bullpen comes together for a series to solidify all aspects of the team for this series.
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).