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Diamondbacks Gameday Thread, #130: 8/26 vs. Reds

The return of the Zach

Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

TJ Friedl - CF Corbin Carroll - RF
Matt McLain - 2B Ketel Marte - 2B
Elly De La Cruz - SS Tommy Pham - DH
Spencer Steer - LF Christian Walker - 1B
Nick Martini - DH Lourdes Gurriel - LF
Christian Encarnacion-Strand - 1B Alek Thomas - CF
Noelvi Marte - 3B Jace Peterson - 3B
Will Benson - RF Jose Herrera - C
Tyler Stephenson - C Geraldo Perdomo - SS
Ben Lively - RHP Zach Davies - RHP

Roster moves

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Reinstated RHP Zach Davies from the 15-day injured list (lower back inflammation).
  • Optioned RHP Justin Martinez to Triple-A Reno after last night’s game.

Probably not a great surprise to see Martinez sent down after a horrendous appearance yesterday which, under other circumstances, could potentially have ended up costing the D-backs the game. As we have seen on occasion, the raw stuff is there. But when it doesn’t come with at least a modicum of control, then the results can get ugly quickly. As in four runs on only 10 strikes ugly, thanks largely to the 13 balls which accompanied them. We turn instead to Davies, who returns to the rotation after a few weeks where the team has been happy to piece together bullpen games, helped by a number of off-days. These have largely worked out well enough for Arizona.

In case you had forgotten, the picture above is actually the last time we saw Davies in a D-backs uniform. That was on July 18th in Atlanta, and shows him walking off the mound after allowing a three-run homer in the fourth inning - already the eighth run the Braves had scored that night. That was the insanity which ended in a score of 16-13 to the D-backs, at least getting Davies off the hook for the loss. But it’s worth nothing that Zach has now made a total of 39 starts for Arizona, and has won just three of them. No other pitcher in team history has made even 15 starts and won less then 10% of them [Vidal Nuno, winless in 14 starts is the closest. Brandon Pfaadt is 1-for-13 after last night]

Combine that with Davies’s 5.07 ERA (an 81 ERA+) over his two seasons with Arizona - and it has been a lot worse this year - and you find yourself wondering if he was really the best option for the team. Earlier in the week, Torey Lovullo spoke about maximizing the team’s best pitchers to “to hit the right teams and pitch as often as possible in the most critical moments.” You would think this would surely apply across the entire rotation. Personally, I’d have kept Davies out for the entire Reds series, against a wild-card rival, and let him pitch on Monday in Dodger Stadium, where a loss would be less impactful. But, hey, I’m just a guy with a website. #InToreyWeTrust It has got us back into a playoff spot, after all.