It only took Clay Buchholz 48 pitches to complete five innings of shutout baseball on Friday night. Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks, that effort was not enough on Friday night as Anthony DeSclafani carved up Arizona’s hitters, allowing only three hits and striking out nine in seven innings of shutout pitching.
Five shutout innings followed by two innings featuring weak flares and a bunt-hit was not enough as Cincinnati answered with a solid pitching performance of their own. While both starters completed seven innings, DeSclafani out-dueled Buchholz on Friday night, striking out nine and keeping Arizona off the scoreboard entirely.
Arizona Offense Continues to Struggle
After limping through the series against Philadelphia, Arizona’s offense continued to flounder against Cincinnati and Anthony DeSclafani. Arizona has now scored only 11 runs in the last 41 innings.
Lack of Goldschmidt Steals by Design
After spending the last few seasons establishing himself as one of the better base-running first basemen to ever suit up, Paul Goldschmidt’s adventures on the base paths have almost entirely vanished. According to Torey Lovullo, this is because Goldschmidt has been under a red light most of the season to keep him fresh and healthy.
Ahmed Developing into Two-Way Threat
He’ll never be an offensive force at the plate the way other shortstops, like Troy Tulowitzki or Trevor Storey are, but Nick Ahmed’s improvements at the plate have made him a positive contributor there. The result is that his stand-out glove now gets to contribute full value as well, making Nick Ahmed one of the better shortstops in the game.
Despite turning into one of the bigger busts in the last 30 years, the fruits of the Delmon Young trade tree are still producing productive fruit 15 years later, and look to do so for at least five more years.
Bryce Harper to the Cubs No Longer Makes Sense
The Chicago Cubs have one of the better five-man outfields in baseball at the moment. They are poised to win the NL Central again. The incumbent group of players is under control for a few more seasons, some at reasonable costs. Give all that, fitting Bryce Harper for a 2019 Cubs jersey seems far less likely now than it ever has before, Kris Bryant notwithstanding.