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Diamondbacks Game Preview #47: 5/27 vs. Dodgers

Why do LA do so well against the D-backs?

The Wedjat-Eye
The Wedjat-Eye, the left eye of the god Horus, symbolising light and provides protection against the evil eye.
Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DODGERS DIAMONDBACKS
Mookie Betts - RF Daulton Varsho - DH
Freddie Freeman - 1B Josh Rojas - 3B
Trea Turner - SS Ketel Marte - 2B
Will Smith - C Christian Walker - 1B
Justin Turner - 3B David Peralta - LF
Chris Taylor - LF Pavin Smith - RF
Cody Bellinger - CF Alek Thomas - CF
Hanser Alberto - 2B Geraldo Perdomo - SS
Edwin Rios - DH Jose Herrera - C
Ryan Pepiot - RHP M. Bumgarner - LHP

Roster moves

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Recalled LHP Tyler Holton (No. 67) from Triple-A Reno.
  • Optioned RHP Luis Frias to Reno following last night’s game.

No great surprise, with Frias being the sacrificial lamb, throwing 63 pitches in relief yesterday. So he won’t be doing anything beyond icing down his arm for a few days.

Last night’s defeat at the hands of Los Angeles, dropped Arizona’s record against them to 2-6, with the D-backs having been outscored by more than two-to-one margin (25-51). This isn’t particularly new. It’s actually an improvement over last season when Arizona won just three of nineteen contests, and were outscored 53-124. The COVID-abbreviated campaign in 2020 was no better: 2-8. All told, since the end of the 2019 campaign, the Diamondbacks are a dismal 7-30 against the Dodgers, with the run differential 112-230. Perhaps surprisingly that is not the worst win percentage against a divisional rival over that time. Against the Giants, whom we have yet to face this season, the D-backs are an even worse 4-25.

A very significant part of the reason is that Arizona has not been very good over that time-frame, while San Francisco and Los Angeles have. Over that period, no team has won more than the Dodgers’ 179 times, and the Giants rank third, at 160 victories. The D-backs? 28th in the major since the start of 2020, with exactly a hundred wins. When a .373 win percentage team faces .604 (Giants) or .673 (Dodgers) teams, the results are not going to be great. Generally, the D-backs have won less than three times in ten when playing teams at or above .500 (39-94, .293 W%). Still, it’s not as bad as the less than two times in ten (.189) when facing the Dodgers.

Pressed to guess, it seems most likely to be an issue with the pitching. Arizona’s ERA over the past three seasons against Los Angeles is a meaty 5.93, higher than any other side in the NL (trailing their 7.33 against the Angels, albeit only in six games. Maybe there’s something about southern California since the start of 2020?). That perilously close to the D-backs’ ERA at Coors Field (6.19), which is flat out scary, considering how Arizona is no longer the hitter’s haven it once was, and Chavez Ravine still has occasions on which fly balls appear to die in the outfield. If Arizona are ever to escape from the apparent evil eye of Los Angeles, pitching better is going to be helpful.

TOREY LOVULLO NOTES

Roster Move: Luis Frias optioned to AAA Reno and Left hander Tyler Holton has been recalled. On Frias, Torey had this to say:

“Frias is a young talented pitcher. He’s got to figure out a way to manipulate the baseball and make secondary pitches land where they need to and continue to work on throwing his fastball where he needs to... This level of hitter will hit mistakes and it doesn’t matter how hard it is. It could be 110 MPH, if it’s out over the plate a major league baseball player is going to time it up. I see the velocities, which we all love, but we need to command that baseball.”

Torey also mentioned that it’s a luxury and very comforting to have three lefties in the pen.

Bullpen: One silver lining to last night’s debacle was that the “A” bulllpen is well rested and ready to go for the rest of the weekend. Torey gave special praise to Caleb Smith stepping up and giving 1 13 innings last night to help them get through the game. Asked who is the most “rubber armed” pitcher he has among relievers:

I think Caleb Smith is probably in that category of guys that could throw every day. He wants to throw every day. When I take the ball from him, the first thing he says to me is I’m good tomorrow. I mean two seconds after I take the ball from him ...you’re done.....ok....I’m good tomorrow.

Last Night’s defensive miscommunication between Perdomo and Marte: Torey confirmed after reviewing the situation that it should have been Perdomo’s ball, and stressed the importance of developing non verbal communication.

Injury Updates:

  • Keynan Middleton (elbow) threw a 21 pitch bullpen
  • Luke Weaver will pitch in an extended game tomorrow, still limited to 2 IP, 30 pitches, will definitely not be built up as a starter.
  • Carson Kelly (Oblique) took the next step by taking BP in the cage, all went well
  • Nick Ahmed (Covid IL) has resumed light baseball activity. He is building strength and endurance, and still feeling fatigued. “We miss Nick. There’s no doubt about it. There’s a certain comfort that he creates when he’s on the field. He’s the captain of the defense.”
  • Kyle Nelson (Covid IL) has thrown live BP

TOREY LOVULLO AUDIO