The overwhelming story coming coming out of this weekend’s Arizona Diamondbacks-Pittsburgh Pirates series was the season-ending injury to Paul Goldschmidt. His plunking by Ernesto Frieri in Friday night’s game is one of the big news items in baseball. The teams split the four games at Chase Field and if not for the injury and the hitting of Andrew McCutchen on Saturday by Randall Delgado, the thing we would all be focusing on is the performance of the Arizona starting pitching.
Who would have thought that out of the four Snakes’ starting pitchers, Josh Collmenter would have had the worst outing? Tomahawk struggled on Friday but managed to keep his team in the game going 5 1/3 innings allowing three earned runs on four hits. The performance of the next three pitchers was remarkable. Vidal Nuno, Chase Anderson and Trevor Cahill allowed only three earned runs (one apiece) in 19 innings. Sunday’s outing by Cahill is particularly noteworthy. It was by far his best start of the season, going a season-high seven innings and walking only one batter and striking out seven. Over his last three starts, Cahill has issued only one free pass.
Unfortunately, the bullpen was less than stellar this weekend. It allowed 15 runs in the eighth and ninth innings on Friday and Saturday. Troubling was Brad Ziegler who allowed the Pirates to tie the game Sunday and got the loss on Saturday. Here was a interesting fact tweeted by Zach Buchanan at azcentral regarding the struggles of Ziegler:
First batters are hitting .302/.351/.434 off Ziegler this year. Hit .189/.231/.216 last year.
— Zach Buchanan (@azc_zachb) August 3, 2014
On offense, David Peralta went 0 for 7 on Thursday and Sunday but 5 for 9 in the middle games. Ender Inciarte hit in all four games including a three-run homer on Friday to give the D’backs a 4-1 lead. Andy Marte returned to the Major Leagues in style by smashing a pinch-hit, two-run homer in Thursday’s 7-4 victory. After scoring seven runs Thursday night, the D’backs scored only ten runs over the next three games.
After an off day, the D’backs host the Kansas City Royals for three games beginning Tuesday night. Arizona is now 49-63 and in fourth place in the National League West.