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Diamondbacks Gameday Thread, #4: 4/2 @ Dodgers

The D-backs can still salvage a split, but will have to play rather better....

Axe Head In Wood. France. Photo by: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Josh Rojas - 3B Mookie Betts - 2B
Ketel Marte - 2B Freddie Freeman - 1B
Lourdes Gurriel - DH Will Smith - C
Christian Walker - 1B J.D. Martinez - DH
Corbin Carroll - LF David Peralta - LF
Jake McCarthy - RF Trayce Thompson - RF
Alek Thomas - CF James Outman - CF
Geraldo Perdomo - SS Chris Taylor - 3B
Jose Herrera - C Miguel Rojas - SS
Zach Davies - RHP Noah Syndergaard - RHP

The Diamondbacks have so far been outscored 19-5 in the series, have been out-walked by a 19-1 margin, and have an OPS which is a cool 417 points worse than their opponents (.890 vs. .473). But all of that will be forgotten, if Arizona manages to win this afternoon’s contest, and escape from Los Angeles with a split of the four-game series. However, that’s a very big “if”, since there have only be a couple of innings out of the 27 played to date, where the D-backs have looked like they can match the Dodgers. Probably the first couple in the opener, and then the seventh inning on Friday night, where everything Lovullo touched on the bench turned to gold.

However, it is worth noting that the D-backs started extremely slowly at the plate for the beginning of the season last year. Similarly, they were one swing of the bat (Seth Beer last year, Kyle Lewis this) from being 0-3, and looked completely lost at the plate. It took them considerably more than three games to come round then. Through the first 11 contests in 2022, Arizona were batting a collective .156 with a .543 OPS, and were averaging only two runs per game. The team this year has a BABIP of only .200, which won’t be sustained. They are also hitting the ball hard: 41.7% of the time, second in the NL. The only team with more hard contact, the Marlins, has a .323 BABIP.

So, there is reason to hope that the offense has been somewhat unlucky. That said, the lack of walks is concerning. They are the first team since the 1989 Brewers to walk just once over their first three games of the season, and stands in stark contrast to the Diamondbacks’ pitchers, who have been handing out free passes like Halloween candy. The Dodgers are a good-hitting team, and you just cannot afford to give them bonus men on base. Arizona has some very good defensive players; all told, they’re among the best in the league, but they can’t do anything if the pitchers are not making the opposition put the ball in play. You can’t catch a walk. Hopefully Zach Davies delivers better today.