Disclaimer: I apologize for posting after the first game of Rockies series but I had already finished the majority of the work before the game and figured there were still some good stats/info for people to enjoy. Stats are through Thursday’s games. Thanks for reading!!
“There’s no time to be tired or fatigued, it’s time to push it….we’re in our last lap right now, we only have 14 games left, just have to leave it all out there.”
~Catcher Miguel Montero
The Diamondbacks wrapped up an eight game homestand on Thursday falling to the Padres in a one run game 6-5. Unfortunately for this club, the September magic that they need to secure that final playoff spot always seems to be just beyond their bats length. This team has definitely had their chances to drive in runs over the last couple months but just never seem to get the job done. Too many times have we seen a runner in scoring position with one or no outs only to watch him be stranded three outs later. Unproductive outs have been the nemesis of this 2012 team and it continued Thursday afternoon.
Record Notes: The Dbacks fell back below .500 with their loss at 74-75. They have floated around the .500 line nearly all season having reached that point 21 times thus far. Four games over .500 (55-51 on Aug. 4th) is the farthest we have seen the club climb above the center line.
*They now sit 12.5 back of the Giants who are within five games of clinching the N.L. West and an unfortunate 5.5 back for the second wild card spot with just 13 games remaining.
GOOD: Ian Kennedy has been dealing in September. After working out of a first inning- one out- bases loaded jam with just one run scoring, the right hander didn’t allow another run on his way to eight dominate innings of work. He is now 3-0 with a 1.98 ERA in his last four outings. There is a definite upside here if Kennedy can finish strong with 15 or 16 wins considering how poorly he has pitched on and off all year.
*Justin Upton is enjoying a productive offensive stretch right now and finished the Padres series 6 for 11 with three doubles and a triple. He scored five more runs bringing his season total to 95- third most in the N.L. entering Friday night’s game. The right fielder has a .313 average during the month of September and has belted four homeruns so far- the most of any month this year. Seriously.
*Miguel Montero has been a tough out as of late finishing with three doubles and three RBI’s in the series. For the month of September he’s sporting a ridiculous .471 OBP and .362 average. Not to mention he’s caught 18 straight games, by far a franchise record (previous was 11).
BAD: Tyler Skaggs battled through five innings of work on Thursday allowing four earned runs and walking three. He allowed a three run homerun on a 0-2 count to Jesus Guzman in the first inning which marks the sixth consecutive start in which he’s allowed a homerun. In his last 12 innings he has surrendered 14 earned runs raising his ERA to 5.83. While everyone understands that we need to see what these young arms have to offer, it also feels like the club isn’t exactly sure whether to just get their rookies playing time to prepare for 2013 or make a final push for the playoffs this season.
*Unproductive Outs. This was a category that appeared on this list frequently around the middle of the season and it reared its ugly head again on Thursday. After battling back from a 6-2 deficit to trail by just one run in the ninth, the team loaded the bases with no outs. Definitely going to get one run, right? All you need is a fly ball. How about a pinch hit foul ball pop out to third, groundout to second-throw to home for force- and a check swing strikeout to end the game. Game set and match.
UGLY: Jason Kubel has really had a hard go of it in the last six to eight weeks. He isn’t playing everyday (just 0-4 vs Padres) and is stuck in a 0-21 slump following his two homerun game against the Padres on September 8th. His average has plummeted to .253 from .287 on August 1st.
NOTES: Paul Goldschmidt connected for his 40th double on the year Wednesday, just the fifth Dback to accomplish the feat.
*Goldie has also gone 11 consecutive games without a multi-hit effort, his longest stretch of the year. His Homerun Watch continues at 30 straight games and 103 at bats, by far the longest drought of his young career without a homerun.
*Trevor Cahill has now made it seven consecutive starts without allowing a homerun. During that stretch he is 3-1.
*Normally I would mention the starters of the first game of the upcoming series but since I am finishing this after that game I’ll just mention that we did gain a game in the Wild Card and now trail by 4.5 heading into the weekend with a 15-5 blowout win against the Rockies in Colorado.
*Now finish off the Rockies!!
Follow me on Twitter at @ndougherty313 and our team at @venomstrikes.