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Series Preview #12: Diamondbacks Vs. Marlins

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The Diamondbacks welcome the Marlins, while looking to end a skid of terrible baseball.

People walk by the Scottsdale Dia de los Muertos art exhibit from Lore Media and Arts during Arizona Diamondbacks Hispanic Heritage Day Saturday, September 14, 2019 outside of Chase Field in downtown Phoenix. Nicole Neri/The Republic, Arizona Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Diamondbacks have lost eight out of their last eleven and haven’t won a game since May 2nd against Colorado. To say it hasn’t been going great is a bit of an understatement. Their next opponent is the one that swept them the first time early this week, the Miami Marlins. Hopefully the familiarity might help kick start everything again for our hometown team...

Game 1: Luke Weaver (1-3, 1.38 WHIP, 69 ERA+) vs TBD

I’m writing this approximately five hours before first pitch (procrastination and a terrible memory are great, aren’t they??) and as far as I can tell, the Marlins have not yet announced who their starting pitcher is. If anyone has any insight into that, please feel free to share in the comments.

The Diamondbacks have announced who their starting pitcher is, however, and it will be Luke Weaver taking the mound for the Diamondbacks. Weaver has been struggling something awful over the past month. He hasn’t gone more than five innings since April 11th, and over that stretch hasn’t given up less than 3 runs, including giving up six runs to these same Marlins in his last start.

Game 2: Madison Bumgarner (3-2, 1.09 WHIP, 84 ERA+) vs Pablo Lopez (0-2, 1.08 WHIP, 197 ERA+)

Last time out, Pablo Lopez held the Diamondbacks to one unearned run over five innings, which brought his ERA down to 2.09 for the season. Lopez has had a very good season so far, with only one bad start, a six run performance against the Atlanta Braves back on April 13th. Should be an interesting test for the offense to see if they can make an adjustment and have a better performance in round two.

Don’t look now, but Madison Bumgarner has been on a tear the past four starts. During that time period, he hasn’t given up more than a single run and hasn’t given up more than five baserunners per game. I’m not quite ready to declare him fixed, but it is starting to look like he might follow the Grienke Trajectory of a terrible first season and then figures it out the rest of the way.

Game 3: Zac Gallen (1-1, 1.20 WHIP, 137 ERA+) vs Trevor Rogers (4-2, 1.07 WHIP, 212 ERA+)

Rogers in his second season and having a pretty good one so far. Hasn’t had a start where he gave up more than three earned runs yet, and last time out held the Brewers to one earned run on four hits over five innings. The Diamondbacks didn’t face him during the last series, so figuring him out for the first time could be a challenge for an offense that hasn’t been firing on all cylinders recently.

According to MLB.com, this will be Gallen’s first time facing his former team since he was traded to the Diamondbacks for Jazz Chisholm two trade deadlines ago. Last time out, Gallen held the Mets to a single earned run over six innings. The Diamondbacks will be looking for a strong outing from their young ace to get them a win in this game.

Game 4: Merrill Kelly (2-3, 1.46 WHIP, 77 ERA+) vs Daniel Castano (0-2, 1.55 WHIP, 78 ERA+)

Castano is another second year pitcher for the Marlins, but he hasn’t been having quite as good as season as Rogers. His last two starts have been against the Brewers and they tagged him for a three earned runs in each and he was only able to hang in there for 3.1 and 4 innings in each start. This appears to be the best chance for the Diamondbacks offense in this series.

Kelly hasn’t had quite as good a season as last, but he’s been slowly improving over the past few starts His ERA peaked at 8.44 on April 15th, but he’s lowered it to 5.40 as of his last start. Him continuing to improve will be huge for the Diamondbacks going forward.

Conclusion

The Gambler’s Fallacy would have me believe the Diamondbacks are due for a series win after being swept in two straight series. However, just six games ago, these same Marlins outclassed the Diamondbacks in ever facet of the game. If the offense can even slightly be bothered to show up, though, I think the Dbacks have a good shot at winning at least the Bumgarner and Gallen games. The Weaver and Kelly games are a little bit more of a task however, I’m going to say they split the series.