In recent memory, I can’t think of a bigger series at this junction of the season, 67 games in. Tonight the Arizona Diamondbacks start a three game set with the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field. Normally I don’t like to put too much stock into a mid-season intra-divisional series, however, this series means more to the Dbacks probably more than to the Giants in the sense that this will be a measuring stick as to where the Dbacks stand in the realm of things.
The Dbacks, who once owned the cellar this season in the NL West, have done a 180 since the middle of May. They have turned into the team we all felt they had the potential to be. Scary part is, they have a lot of work to do still. The bullpen had a great stretch, however, has been subpar for the most part as of late. The offense has once again picked up the pace the past several games against some pitchers they traditionally had trouble with in Annibal Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco most notably.
The Dbacks have not fared well against the Giants so far this season. They lost two of three in April in Phoenix. They were swept in May up in San Francisco, losing all three by one-run. That series was right before the turnaround started against the Los Angeles Dodgers. That Dodgers series by the way, was where tonight’s starter, Josh Collmenter, made his first start of the season. He has been lights out for the most part since then.
Tonight the Dbacks face Matt Cain, who has pretty much owned the Dbacks. He is 2-0 against the Dbacks this season. If you want to look at a positive though, the Dbacks will miss Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez in this series. That doesn’t mean this won’t be a tough series though. The Giants know how to win, period. They’ve been in many big games over the past couple of seasons. They probably don’t view this series as big as the Dbacks do and that’s ok. It’s just another business trip for the Giants as far as they are concerned. Again, that doesn’t signify they will lay down and give this series away. No way, they are too good. The Dbacks will have to work hard and play smart baseball to pull off a series win.