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Diamondbacks Game Preview #147: 9/19 @ Dodgers

I’m ready for the series...

Ping Pong 4 Purpose At Dodger Stadium Presented By Skechers And UCLA Health Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Kershaw’s Challenge

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS DODGERS
Stone Garrett - DH Mookie Betts - RF
Ketel Marte - 2B Trea Turner - SS
Jake McCarthy - LF Freddie Freeman - 1B
Christian Walker - 1B Will Smith - C
Emmanuel Rivera - 3B Max Muncy - 3B
Carson Kelly - C Joey Gallo - LF
Jordan Luplow - RF Gavin Lux - 2B
Daulton Varsho - CF Chris Taylor - DH
Geraldo Perdomo - SS Cody Bellinger - CF
Merrill Kelly - RHP Clayton Kershaw - LHP

A hitting slump is probably not the best time to be going into Dodger Stadium for a rare five-game series. But here the Diamondbacks are, coming off a homestand which saw them score only 13 runs over the seven games, hit .164 and strike out more than seven times for every walk (K:BB of 58:8). Since leaving Coors Field over a week ago, Arizona have just three hits with runners in scoring position, a .094 average in that situation (3-for-32). Is is the Denver effect? I thought I’d take a look at the results after the Diamondbacks previous road series against the Rockies, and see whether there was a similar fall off in the team’s offense in the week afterward.

Their first road-trip of the season to Coors was not until the start of July, when they dropped two out of three, despite scoring 21 runs. Like this time, it was followed by a seven-game homestand against NL West opponents. However, the quality was certainly lower, as we faced the Giants and then the Rockies again. While there was a fall-off in offense compared to the games in Denver, the Diamondbacks still scored 38 runs, and hit .263/.333/.399 for a .732 OPS. They also went to Coors Aug 12-14, taking two of three and scoring 16 runs. Arizona then went to SF for four, before coming home to face St. Louis in three games. There seemed to be some drop-off, the D-backs scoring 22 runs and hitting .220/.302/.317 for a .619 OPS/

It’s something which probably needs a considerably bigger sample, looking at results across all visitors to Coors Field, and possibly over multiple seasosn. But this year, for Arizona, they do seem to hit less well in the week following a trip to Denver, rhough other factors may be involved. The Dodgers are, far and away, the best pitching team in the league, with a collective ERA+ of 152. That’s the highest figure since the game integrated: for comparison, Randy Johnson’s career ERA+ is 135. The only pitchers in the modern era to finish their careers with a higher ERA than the Dodgers’ 2022 season are Pedro Martinez and Mariano Rivera. Scoring runs this series may be no easier. If we can win two, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.