clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Series Preview #28: Diamondbacks vs. Mets

The half billion dollar team comes to Chase

A close up picture of a sandwich restaurant’s menu board, focusing on a sandwich called the Big Apple, which features pastrami, corned beef, grilled onions, tomatoes, and other ingredients Lucas Boland/The Coloradoan / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Diamondbacks are in first place. The Diamondbacks haven’t been playing the greatest baseball the past three weeks. These are both true statements, and they both deserve the same amount of attention. Despite many, even on this very forum, expecting the team to eventually fall back to Earth, Arizona has avoided that fate, staying just ahead of the Dodgers and Giants, holding on to first place with a lead of this size for the first time since 2013, by Jim’s reckoning.

However, they also are mainly in first place still due to the underperformance of the Dodgers, and the surge of the Giants (so far) falling a tick short. The past twenty games has seen the Diamondbacks go 10-10, not exactly inspiring of future success. That said, the team is just as well positioned now as they were a month ago. Corbin Carroll is the Rookie of the Month, Gallen is still a top shelf pitcher despite a few less than stellar starts, and Ketel Marte is looking increasingly likely to receive MVP votes. This before Hazen makes a single trade deadline move.

Across the diamond from them this week are the Mets. They are 19 games back of the Braves as of writing, and for each game back they are paying $25.7 million in payroll and fees for the privilege. Steven Cohen hasn’t lost this much money since GameStop didn’t go bankrupt. The particulars are different, but ultimately, it’s just the Mets being the Mets.

Game 1 — 7/4, 1:10 PM: Zach Davis (1-4, 6.54 ERA/67 ERA+. 1.61 WHIP) vs. Kodai Senga (6-5, 3.53 ERA/117 ERA+)

In his last start, Davies faced off against the Tampa Bay Rays, an offense that is not only the best in the league, but as it currently stands a top five offense in the history of the game. To put it mildly, it wasn’t a favorable match up. So of course he went out and threw seven scoreless innings of two hit baseball. Because baseball. And of course, the Diamondbacks lost anyway when the most reliable relief pitcher we’ve had all season decided to blow a save. Because baseball. What will happen this time? Who can say, but if you don’t rush out and place your bets on a repeat performance, I can’t say I blame you

Kodai Senga is the most recent big name start to make the transition from the NPB to MLB. He’s been decent in his first season stateside. Typically gives the Mets about six innings of roughly three run ball. His defining characteristic an insane forkball which is literally unhittable. No, seriously, look at it and tell me how a human being could hit it. I wish the Diamondbacks’ offense the best of luck.

Game 2 — 7/5, 6:40 PM: Tommy Henry (5-1, 4.08 ERA/107 ERA+, 1.34 WHIP) vs. Max Scherzer (7-2, 3.87 ERA/107 ERA+, 1.20 WHIP)

Henry’s last three starts have probably been the best three consecutive starts so far in his career. He’s pitched at least into the six inning in all three and gave up two, one, and one run respectively in each. There are still a couple of red flags still. He has allowed a home run in five consecutive starts and the walks are still high at over three per nine innings.

You’ve probably heard of Max Scherzer before. He’s been something of a journeyman pitcher, but he’s been a key role player on several playoff teams, even winning a World Series ring during his stint with the Nationals. Those of us who have been around for a while, though, will remember that at one point he was actually on the Diamondbacks and was part of the trade that brought us Diamondback Legends Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy.

Seriously, though, the raw numbers haven’t been there for Scherzer this year, but that’s not to say that this is going to be an easy game for the Diamondbacks by any stretch. He’s still Max Scherzer and has been looking much more like himself over his past three starts.

Game 3 — 7/6, 6:40 PM: Ryne Nelson (5-4, 4.67 ERA/93 ERA+, 1.38 WHIP) vs. TBD

Like Henry, Ryne Nelson has been trending in a much better direction than he had been for the first couple months of the season. Since the start of June, he’s pitched six times to a 3.48 ERA. Only given up three home runs and thrown 27 Ks to just 11 walks. His last two in particular have been strong. Both of them seven innings with one earned run.


Quite a toss up this series, in my opinion. If you put more stock in the overall numbers, the Diamondbacks are sending out their bottom of the rotation, and the struggles there have been well documented. However, all three of them have had recent success. I think they’ll be able to take two of three, but it will be close and could easily swing to losing two of three.