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Series Preview #17: Diamondbacks vs. Red Sox

The return of Davies

Zach Davies throws a pitch with the out of focus Chase Field bleachers in the background Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

This will be just the third time in franchise history that the Red Sox have come to Chase Field. The first time was in 2007, when the Red Sox came out victorious, taking two out of three against the Anybody, Anytime Dbacks. When they came back in 2019, the Diamondbacks came out on top, taking two out of three themselves.

Game 1 — 5/26, 6:40PM: Brandon Pfaadt (0-1, 7.65 ERA/57 ERA+, 1.55 WHIP) vs. Chris Sale (4-2, 5.01 ERA/92 ERA+, 1.17 WHIP)

After two very poor starts to begin his MLB career, Pfaadt has thrown a couple of decent starts. He held the Giants to a single hit in five innings on the 14th, but he gave up three walks. His most recent start was a 5.1 inning, three run outing. The results still aren’t what we were hoping for from the much-heralded prospect.

With this start, Chris Sale will have thrown more starts than in either 2022 or 2021. If you had told anyone that his contract would go this poorly when he signed it, you would have been laughed at. It’s been injury after injury since then. From Tommy John Surgery to breaking his wrist while recovering from a broken pinkie, it’s always been something. April was another bad month for him, but his four starts since April 30th have been much better, giving up seven runs over the four starts

Game 2 — 5/27, 4:15PM: TBD (Zach Davies) vs. Garrett Whitlock (1-2, 6.19 ERA/75 ERA+, 1.37 WHIP)

Not official yet, but this looks to be the return of Davies. Jack speculated on Twitter that Davies would throw about 80 pitches and then Henry would take over after that. If it is Davies’ return, it will be the first step towards the Diamondbacks having more latitude for how they handle their rookie pitchers and maybe send one back to Reno to work on some of their areas of opportunity.

On April 25th, Whitlock was placed on the IL for right elbow ulnar neuritis. The IL stint was preceded by two starts of five runs given up, with a one run start sandwiched between. Up to this point, he has primarily been a reliever, other than his three starts this season, and a few last season. The results as a starter have been mixed until this point.

Game 3 — 5/28, 1:10PM: Merrill Kelly (5-3, 2.98 ERA/145 ERA+, 1.08 WHIP) vs. Tanner Houck (3-3, 4.99 ERA/92 ERA+. 1.25 WHIP)

If it wasn’t for Zach Gallen, I think we’d be paying a lot more attention to the great season that Kelly has been putting together so far. Once he recovered from his World Baseball Classic hangover, he’s been pretty much an automatic six IP with two or less earned runs. He’s had a couple starts that didn’t quite fit that mold, but overall, the Diamondbacks have been getting consistent quality starts.

Houck has been used for a mix of starting and relief, much like Whitlock has been. 2021 saw him start his most games with 13. This season, he’s already up to nine and yet to have appeared out of the bullpen so far. The results haven’t been phenomenal for him. He’s given up less than three runs in only three starts this season. One of those low scoring games was his last outing, however, so he is coming into the game with a bit of momentum behind him.


Boston is a tick over .500 so far this season, but their three starters this series are all question marks. Sale will, of course, be the hardest test the Diamondbacks face in these three games, but even that game is potentially winable, depending on which Sale we see. The other two, I like the Diamondbacks chances. I say they win their fifth series in a row and take the series 2-1.