The Diamondbacks were riding a five game win streak when they arrived in Texas on Monday for a three game set with the Rangers, averaging over seven runs a game during that stretch and playing their best ball all year. Over the next two games they were barely able to muster up a run- scoring once in the first two games. In the final game of the set they were able to beat up on the Rangers’ worst pitcher- Scott Feldman who was 0-5 with an ERA near 6.00 heading into his start Wednesday and avoided the dreaded sweep.
Record Notes: The Diamondbacks now sit one game under .500 at 31-32 and are 8.5 games back from the Dodgers. They evened their record on the road at 16-16 and won against the Rangers on Wednesday for the first time in their last eight matchups. My favorite anomaly with this team came true again as they were held to just one run in the series opening loss. They are now 2-8 in their last ten series openers and have scored one or fewer runs in seven of those. Mind boggling really. And they were down 6-0 in the A’s opener before battling back to win 9-8 in dramatic fashion.
GOOD: Wade Miley was again exceptional. It’s one thing to shut down the Rockies but it takes great execution to shut down arguably baseball’s best lineup. Miley did just about everything right in his outing on Tuesday allowing just two hits in the first seven innings. Then came his first and only walk- a leadoff walk in the eighth that would eventually score on a single by their #9 hitter, Craig Gentry-who, by the way, is hitting .337– in the nine slot. This run would credit Miley the loss as the Dbacks weren’t able to plate a run against Matt Harrison who extended his scoreless inning streak to 16 1/3 with Tuesday’s start. Still, the rookie was able to lower his ERA to 2.39 and continues to be the best pitcher on the team.
*Lyle Overbay hadn’t played since June 5th before Wednesday but didn’t seem phased one bit going 3 for 5 with a two run double and an RBI double later on-both coming with two outs. Overbay has been awesome when filling in for Goldschmidt all season and his average sits .358.
BAD: While the offense as a whole struggled against the Rangers pitching, here are a couple things that stood out:
*1-4 Hitters: In the first two games these four hitters were a combined 4 for 30. Overall they finished 9 for 55 (.164) with 2 RBI’s and 13 strikeouts.
*Leadoff Spot: Gibson is sticking to his guns of never having a player leadoff in consecutive games and in this series his leadoff guys, Parra-Bloomquist-Young, combined for an exciting 1 for 12.
*Ian Kennedy wasn’t very sharp in his start on Monday although he was able to hold the offense down until the sixth when things unraveled pretty quickly. Trailing 1-0 at the start of the sixth, Kennedy retired his first two hitters before giving up six straight hits, five runs and three for extra bases. Let’s chalk this one up to the fact that Kennedy was probably exhausted from leaving the team during the A’s series, flying home to have their second child and then flying in to Arlington on the day of the game to fill his spot in the rotation. He’ll probably throw a complete game his next time out.
UGLY: Chris Young was a combined 1 for 12 in the series with no walks. He is hitting .176 in June and has watched his average drop nearly 160 points in less than one month since returning from the DL.
*Mike Zagurski looks to have done OK on Monday night when looking at his box score as he recorded a pair of outs to end the seventh inning with no runs allowed and two strikeouts. However, he wasn’t good. Again. To his credit he did enter the game with runners on first and second with one out as Ziegler also struggled. Zagurski struck out the first batter he faced for out number two before walking Torrealba on four straight pitches to load the bases. Mitch Moreland hit his first pitch into right field for an RBI single and then Mr. Roly Poly plunked Craig Gentry to walk in a run making it 8-0. Interestingly, since both runs were technically Ziegler’s, Zagurski’s ERA actually dropped and he hasn’t been credited with an earned run in three straight appearances.
NOTES: Paul Goldschmidt’s 17 game hit streak ended on Monday with an 0 for 3 effort. He went hitless in seven at bats against the Rangers and has struck out seven times in his last fourteen at bats.
*Justin Upton Homerun Watch: Our slugger is in the longest drought of the year now with 16 consecutive games without a homerun. He also has two separate streaks of 13 straight games without a long ball this year. I wonder when team’s will stop pitching him away all the time so he can start hitting homeruns? Oh yeah, they won’t. Better adjust soon Upton.
*Miguel Montero hit two homeruns in the Rangers series and now has four in the month of June. He had two in all of April and May.
*The Diamondbacks were shutout on Tuesday for the second time this season. It was also the second time in seven games. Ironically, in the middle of those two shutouts the team averaged over six runs a game. A day after they were shutout against the Rangers they exploded for 11 runs.
*The team now travels to L.A. to play the red hot Angels over the weekend who have won five of six and are hitting the ball very well. Friday’s matchup is Trevor Cahill against the former Diamondback Dan Haren.
Now bring on the Angels!!
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Tags: 1-4 Hitters Arizona Diamondbacks Chris Young Craig Gentry D-backs Dan Haren Dbacks Ian Kennedy Justin Upton Kirk Gibson Leadoff Spot Lyle Overbay Matt Harrison Miguel Montero Mike Zagurski Mitch Moreland Paul Goldschmidt Scott Feldman Trevor Cahill Wade Miley