The Dodgers sent ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound to try and end the Dodger’s regular-season woes against the Diamondbacks. A.J. Pollock and Christian Walker both took Kershaw deep. Matt Koch took the mound for Arizona and did just enough in his three innings of work, allowing only three runs. The Diamondbacks scored again late to take to retake the lead then turned the ball over to Brad Boxberger who buckled down and secured his fourth save in five days. The Diamondbacks have now won the first two games of the four-game series, meaning they only need to take one of the next two games in order to keep their historic winning series streak alive.
They may not be the 1984 Detroit Tigers, but it is beginning to look like it might take a team like those Kirk Gibson led Tigers to unseat Arizona atop the MLB standings.
For now the Diamondbacks sit atop the standings alongside the Boston Red Sox for the best record in the majors. Likewise, A.J. Pollock sits atop the leaderboards, alongside the likes of Mike Trout, Mitch Haniger, Didi Gregorius, and Charlie Blackmon for the most home runs in all of baseball.
Pollock Staying in the Moment
Diamondbacks center fielder, A.J. Pollock is off to the sort of start that could give him a career year as he prepares to enter the most stacked free agent market in history. Rather than focusing on what is still an unclear future, Pollock is choosing to live in and enjoy both his and the team’s success for as long as he can.
A.J. Pollock currently ranks 10th in the super-class of players poised to hit free agency at the end of the season.
MLB Trade Rumours finally completed their offseason review series by examining the Arizona Diamondbacks.
He’s still not the guy opposing pitchers worry about when he digs in at the plate, but Nick Ahmed has changed his approach at the plate, making it hard to take him out of the lineup. This lead to more starts in the field as well, where his exceptional glove gets more opportunities to also make a difference.
Coming into this season, starting pitching depth was a concern for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Now, with Taijuan Walker lost for the season and Robbie Ray likely out until the All-Star break, Mike Hazen and the Diamondbacks are going to need to get creative to fill the void.
Diamondbacks Top Most Improved Outfield Defenses List
The return of a healthy A.J. Pollock and the addition of Jarrod Dyson to the Arizona outfield, along with the corresponding lack of Yasmany Tomas, Chris Herrmann, and Daniel Descalso in the outfield have led Arizona to a five point defensive improvement over 2017.
Dan Haren is quietly working as the secret weapon in the pocket (or more likely the ear) of Arizona pitchers in 2018. The success of the pitching staff would seem to indicate his advice is paying strong dividends.
Justin Verlander continued to dominate, pitching eight scoreless inning and striking out 14. The Yankees managed to keep the the Astros off the board though and then put up a four-spot on the Houston’s, Ken Giles.
Jordan Hicks Reclaims Top Velocity with 101.9 and 102 mph Pitches
The two fastest pitches of 2018 once again belong to Jordan Hicks. On Monday night, Marlins reliever Tayron Guerrero blazed his way into glory with a 101.8-mph fastball. Hicks responded by topping out at 102 mph on Tuesday night in his appearance against the Chicago White Sox.
Rizzo Benefits from Friendly Confines
Returning to the leadoff role for the Chicago Cubs, Anthony Rizzo faced off against Colorado’s ace, Jon Gray. The result w22as a hit with only a 95.5 mph exit velocity and a 44 degree launch angle, prompting Statcast to assign the contact a 1% hit probability. Hitting towards the alleys in Chicago can lead to great result though, and that’s just what happened as the ball gradually carried out and landed in the bleacher basket atop the left field wall.