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D-backs Preview #36: 5/11 vs. Marlins

Will the Bumgarner resurrection continue?

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Miami Marlins Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Miguel Rojas - SS Pavin Smith - CF
Jesus Aguilar - 1B Carson Kelly - C
Garrett Cooper - RF Asdrubal Cabrera - 3B
Adam Duvall - LF David Peralta - LF
Brian Anderson - 3B Christian Walker - 1B
Lewis Brinson - CF Eduardo Escobar - 2B
Sandy Leon - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Jon Berti - 2B Josh Rojas - RF
Pablo Lopez - RHP M. Bumgarner - LHP

Luke Wever’s outing last night has certainly bought him some more time in the rotation, but I’ll need to see more than one good start before I proclaim him “fixed”. We all remember the seven innings of one-hit ball against the Reds, which were followed by several outings of less than mediocre pitching from him. I’m looking for something more like we’ve got out of Madison Bumgarner. Over his last four starts. MadBum’s line is:
Bumgarner: 23.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 25 SO, 2 HR, 1.17 ERA
He hasn’t had a better four-game spell by ERA in almost five years, since four starts from May 22-June 8 in 2016, when he allowed two runs over 27.1 innings. But by WHIP, his current run (0.435) is more than two hundred points better than any other four starts in his career.

Tonight’s match-up is going to be fascinating, because it pitches two starters who have been among the best in the league of late. Indeed, since Bumgarner started his run on April 18, less than a handful of pitchers (min. 15 IP) have a better ERA than his 1.17. But #1 is the man he faces tonight, Pablo Lopez. Here’s his line over the same time:
Lopez: 24.0 IP, 17 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 7 BB, 24 SO, 0 HR, 0.38 ERA
But somehow, Lopez’s record in that time? 0-1, the loss being a 1-0 defeat on an unearned run to the Giants on April 18. That’s some hard luck pitching. May that streak continue tonight!

Torey Lovullo notes

Leading off with the last question of the ZOOM presser today, I asked Torey about the Varsho/Smith play on the Jon Berti Triple. This is in follow up to the discussion with Snake_Bitten in Snakebytes today. Torey’s comment completely backed up and validated SB’s view on the play. So I stand corrected. :) Here is a transcript of the Q&A on this point.

Do you feel like that was Pavin’s ball to cutoff or do you think that Daulton made the right move trying to go for that ball?

You know what’s funny, of all the balls that gave us problems ...that was the one I’ve asked the most questions about today... I think Daulton is trying to show us all of the abilities and instincts that he possesses and he’s a tremendous athlete out there. But at certain times, certain plays can’t be made and you’ve got to learn how to back off of it.. Pavin looked like he had a chance at the ball but Daulton was calling it. We know that the center fielder has priority over the entire field, Pavin obviously became submissive at that point... I have a feeling that if we were to watch that play over again in the coming days that Pavin will catch the ball and Daulton will give way to Pavin.

Ketel Marte: Ran the bases in cleats and took fly balls. Made turns and ran aggressive down the line, first to third, and third to home, but no stops and starts. He is hitting today too as I type. STILL boxes to check off however but no timeline offered for when he’ll be back.

Taylor Widener’s bullpen session went well. He will throw a sim game on Thursday, 50-55 pitches.

Tyler Clippard has begun range of motion and throwing program, but no timeline as of yet.

Bullpen: The key is for the young relievers to throw strikes and get ahead in counts and not being too fine early and becoming too predictable. “We can talk about it all we want, we can walk through some of the thoughts that we’re having in ST, until you finally do it and either A get burned or B have the success you don’t know how to make those improvements or continue growing. I’ve been pleasantly surprised in many cases and then some others I’ve probably had a few more expectations.. The Clippard injury obviously hurt us and then two things followed pretty quickly between Soria and Devenski that left us pretty empty in terms of experience. That was an opportunity for somebody to take advantage. We’ve had a couple guys do that.”

Torey declined to specify who those guys are however.

There was an interesting comment about the philosophy of starters getting 21 outs that was emphasized back in 2017 and what’s changed since then:

I did preach 21 outs because when I entered this organization the starting pitchers we had were complaining about not getting an opportunity to go deep into games. So I coined that phrase just to make sure that they knew that I was going to give them that opportunity to go out there and get those 21 outs.

He spoke further about the adjustments he’s made over the last couple of years to the philosophy, mentioned facing batters for the 4th time, (Maybe he meant third) and focusing on making sure they are in the best position to win the game once the pitcher is around the 100 pitch point.

Note: NL Average Pitches per game started is 84, Dbacks rank 6th with 86. In 2017 the league avg was 91, and the DBacks ranked 2nd in NL with 96.

Do tune in below for the full audio.

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]

Ketel Marte notes

  • Ketel Marte thinks he should be ready to play in major league games within 3-4 days. He was specifically asked if he thought he needed a minor league rehab assignment, and he said he’s been facing major league quality pitching for these past several weeks at the alt site and doesn’t think he needs to go on rehab assignment.
  • 10 days ago he still felt a bit tentative running, but now he’s running at full speed and feels good.
  • He was frustrated for the first couple of weeks after the injury because he had started out so well, but with the help of the staff he feels ready to go and pick up where he left off.

Ketel Marte audio [or link]