This has been a crazy eight days for the Arizona Diamondbacks. It started when it was learned Ian Kennedy would miss a start because of a dishwashing accident. The team then swept a day-night doubleheader from the Texas Rangers enjoyed (?) two consecutive days off before losing the finale in Texas. The D’backs next visited Chicago where Eric Chavez landed on the disabled list before the club took two out of three from the Cubs. Brandon McCarthy was then placed on the DL with a strained shoulder. Out of this madness stepped two players who have been able to help keep the team in first place despite what is going on: Willie Bloomquist and Tyler Skaggs.
Bloomquist made his 2013 debut in style on Saturday by going three for four with two runs scored as Arizona romped over Chicago by a score of 12-4. Last night, he was one of the few bright spots as the D’backs dropped the first of a four game series in St. Louis against the Cardinals in a 7-1 defeat. Bloomquist collected another two hits as he and Gerardo Parra combined for four of the D’backs seven baseknocks on the evening. Showing no ill effects from the strained intercostal that sidelined him for over two months, Bloomy has five hits in eight at-bats and given the team a huge left because of Chavez’s injury and Cliff Pennington‘s .205 average.
Skaggs started the opener of the doubleheader last week against the Rangers and was spectacular, allowing zero runs over six innings and striking out nine. He now gets called on to face the Cards, the team with the best record in baseball at 38-19. If Skaggs hopes to avoid going back to Reno, an impressive start tonight is a must. Kennedy missed only a start and Daniel Hudson could return in a month. Depending on the progress of McCarthy, Skaggs could be looking at two starts, tops, before being sent down again. It’s a tall order facing St. Louis but Skaggs seems to have the demeanor that he won’t be intimidated.
Game time tonight is 5:10 PST.
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