The Diamondbacks finished up their home stand with a 1-5 record after dropping their last two against the San Francisco Giants despite ending their five game losing streak with a victory Friday night. Their record now stands at 15-20, 8.5 games behind the division leading Dodgers and good for 3rd place in the N.L. West. The Dbacks have now lost 9 of 11 overall.
May 11, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin (46) throws during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field. Image: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
GOOD: Attendance. Over the 3 game set, Chase Field averaged 34,314 fans a game-their best since opening weekend. A good sign that the sometimes fickle fans are still behind the club and ready for positive run. Hey, I’m trying here…
Bullpen: Again the bullpen worked effectively finishing with this line: 9 1/3 IP 2 ER 2 BB 6 SO. Craig Breslow pitched 1 1/3 scoreless on Saturday including working out of a bases loaded jam in the top half of the 7th. Breslow hasn’t allowed a run in his five appearances during the month of May.
Josh Collmenter: Since losing his starting role and heading to the pen, Collmenter has worked two separate outings of 3 innings each and allowed just one earned run while striking out five. With Wade Miley now in the starting rotation, Collmenter is an important arm for the bullpen who they need to eat up innings-so far he’s been quite successful.
Paul Goldschmidt: On Friday Goldschmidt went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and hit his first homerun since opening day-a stretch of 88 at bats.
AJ Pollock: The rookie outfielder-called up when Young was placed on the DL- recorded his first career double and homerun on Friday night. He finished the weekend series 3 for 6 with 2 runs, a pair of doubles and one homerun. He added three walks as well to boost his on base percentage over the last 7 days to an impressive .692. He’s 6 for his last 10 at the plate and is beginning to bring the club some much needed results.
Hustle/Fun: Over the weekend two things stood out for me that have been missing within the clubhouse and are encouraging moving forward.
1) Hustle: On Friday night, Willie Bloomquist led off the fifth inning with a hard groundball through the left side and instead of making a wide turn at first before retreating- Willie took off for second with an aggressive head first slide putting himself in scoring position with a ‘hustle double.’ Something I’ve said the team has been missing all season. He would later score on a Montero double.
2) Fun: After Pollock’s first career homerun, the team gave the rookie the silent treatment- offering no immediate congratulations when he returned to the dugout. After about 30-45 seconds of no acknowledgment of the feat, the team all surrounded Pollock with hugs and high-fives adding a little laughter to a club that hasn’t had much to get excited about as of late.
Patrick Corbin: The rookie threw seven innings of one run ball at a time when the team needed it most, ending their five game skid. This outing probably kept Trevor Bauer down in Mobile for at least a little while longer.
BAD: Starting Pitching. Their line: 17 2/3 IP 19 H 11 ER 4 BB 7 SO 2 HR. The starters recorded their first victory since game one of the Nationals series where Cahill recorded a win. The starting rotation is 2-8 over the first 12 games of May.
Offense. The team finished the weekend with 27 more strikeouts and struggled again to plate runs with runners in scoring position-this time finishing 6 for 27 in those opportunities.
3-4-5 Hitters: Over the three game set these hitters were: 6 for 31 with 12 strikeouts, 2 runs, 3 RBI and finished just 2 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Simply put, the heart of the order is just not getting the job done.
UGLY: Joe Saunders. Since being nominated for the April Pitcher of the Month award, Saunders has been horrible in his second month. He has worked into the seventh only once in his three May starts-6 1/3 IP vs. Nationals- after pitching at least seven innings in all four of his April starts. So far in the month of May the 30 year old lefty has an ERA of 8.59 and a WHIP over 2.00 while surrendering four homeruns.
Justin Upton: The 2011 all-star is in some kind of funk. He finished yet another series without an extra base hit or RBI. He was 1 for 9 with 4 K’s against the Giants this weekend. He is hitting a depressing .214 in May with just one homerun and four RBI’s. He hasn’t homered in 10 games and has struck out 13 times in his 42 at-bats. Even more depressing is Upton’s lack of success with runners in scoring position- in his 24 at-bats he has just 2 hits and 10 strikeouts. That’s an .083 average with RISP. Again, that’s the #3 hitter. If Upton doesn’t begin adjusting to the pitches that he’s getting soon, then it’s just going to make it that much harder for the hitters around him to get good pitches. As soon as Upton can start to drive the pitches on the outside part of the plate to right field, we will see his average begin to rise. Until then however, don’t expect much to change.
Diamondback Killer: Melky Cabrera tore up the Dbacks pitchers finishing 9 for 14 with two doubles, one homerun and four RBI.
Home Struggles: The Dbacks have now lost five straight series at Chase Field. It is the longest such streak since the 2006 season. Since going 4-0 at home to start the season, the team has dropped 12 of 15 at Chase Field.
Note: In 2011, the Diamondbacks were sitting at 15-21 following a three game set against the Giants and heading into a three game set with the Dodgers. They would finish May on a 15-4 tear and never look back on their way to the N.L. West title.
Now bring on those 1st place Dodgers!!!