The Arizona Diamondbacks are coming off of an interesting road trip that was ultimately a little bit disappointing. I say a little because they went 5-6, so it’s not like they went 2-9, but they also faced a couple of team that they should have beaten. The main story from the trip was a No-Hitter thrown by Miami’s Edinson Volquez against the Dbacks, which came just days after Chase Anderson took a No-Hitter into the eighth inning against them in Milwaukee. It would seem that the two issues that have plagued the Dbacks offense this season came together on this trip: A lack of road offense and an inconsistent offense. But now, Arizona heads home after their longest road trip in seven years and they will take on the San Diego Padres for a three game stand at Chase Field. Let’s see what we can expect!
- Game 1: Dinelson Lamet vs. Robbie Ray
- Game 2: Luis Perdomo vs. Zack Greinke
- Game 3: Clayton Richard vs. Patrick Corbin
Robbie Ray has been on an absolute tear over his last three starts, and it seems to only be getting better. In his last start he tossed the first complete game of his MLB career, and it was also his first shutout. He finished with zero walks, 10 strikeouts, and allowing only four hits. It was a masterful performance, and lowered his ERA on the season to 3.00. He is becoming a young ace and is exactly what a team like the Dbacks needs if they are to have a chance at contending for the playoffs this year. He is also riding a 25.2 inning scoreless streak coming into this start. Although some sources I have read say that number is 24.2 (but in my mind since he got three straight outs to end the inning after the last time he gave up runs, that counts as an inning to me). Opposing him will be Dinelson Lamet for the Padres. The Padres are fresh off of a sweep of the defending World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, and Lamet was one of the reasons why. He tossed five innings against Chicago and allowed two runs while striking out 8 batters. This will only be his third major league career start, but so far the first two have looked good, and he is striking out a lot of batters.
Game number two will feature the ace of the staff for Arizona in Zack Greinke. So far in 2017, Greinke has been amazing having gone 7-3 with a 3.06 ERA, 92 K’s, and a 0.98 WHIP across 79.1 innings. He has had two starts against the Padres so far this year, and in those two starts he has pitched 14 innings, allowed 2 runs, 11 hits, 1 BB, and struck out 17 batters. Let’s hope this trend continues. Fun fact: There are actually two major league pitchers that have been named Luis Perdomo, and both have played for the Padres, and both are from the Dominican Republic. This version of Luis Perdomo is coming off of two straight starts that have been very good. Last time out he tossed seven innings of one run ball against the Chicago Cubs and the time before that he had a quality start against the Washington Nationals. The time before that? … He gave up eight runs in just three innings against the Dbacks. So hopefully the Dbacks can have a repeat performance there.
Game 3 will be a rubber match of sorts between two lefties. Patrick Corbin and Clayton Richard have already matched up twice this year with the two teams splitting wins. Corbin has been struggling mightily however over the last month or so, and I personally think that he needs to move to the bullpen. His 5.43 ERA tells me that he needs to be out of the rotation, and his bad attitude towards not being in the rotation tells me that he needs to stop whining. If he doesn’t pitch better and have a better attitude towards helping this team win any way possible (see: Archie Bradley), then I don’t see him sticking around long. This game should tell us more about where he will be in the coming months. Clayton Richard is a lefty that has given the Dbacks fits even though it seems like he is someone that we should crush. This game is up in the air, and I don’t have very much confidence in Corbin. Advantage Padres here.
Arizona’s offense has regressed over the last 5-6 weeks, and they have gone from one of the major’s best offenses to closer to league average. They are still averaging a respectable 4.80 runs per game and they are also among the league leaders in categories like stolen bases, triples, doubles, and hits. But they have been missing A.J. Pollock since he has been out, and they have not been getting as good of performances from players like Yasmany Tomas, who now has an OBP below .300 and is already worth -0.5 bWAR. There are also some positions where defense is good, but we do not have offense to go with it. Nick Ahmed has actually been hitting very well for how good of a defender he is, but others like Rey Fuentes and Jeff Mathis are offensive black holes when they are in the lineup.
Counteracting these negatives, we have several players that are carrying the load offensively. Paul Goldschmidt is having one of his MVP caliber seasons, and he is on pace for roughly 35 stolen bases, 35 home runs, 125 RBI’s, 132 runs, and a whopping 8.0 bWAR. If these statistics come to fruition, and the Diamondbacks make the playoffs, then he has a legitimate shot at MVP honors. Jake Lamb is also having an incredible season and is on pace for nearly a 40-HR 130 RBI season. He has solidified the four hole behind Goldy but still has some work to do when a lefty is on the mound.
San Diego is about as bad of an offensive team that is in baseball, and they are averaging only 3.45 runs per game. They are dead last in all of baseball in this category as well as hits, doubles, AVG, and OBP. They are such a young team though that the potential is there, but they are likely a few years away from that potential making a bigger impact.
I think that some home cooking is exactly what the Dbacks need, and they have a couple of really good pitchers going in Ray and Greinke. Although the Padres are coming off a recent sweep of the Cubs, I think that they will have their hands full with the Dbacks starting staff and home offense. I think the Dbacks take two of three and have an outside chance of a sweep here. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and go Dbacks!!
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