The Diamondbacks are coming off a pair of two game series against the L.A. Dodgers and Colorado Rockies to start off the week. They split each series on the road winning on Tuesday against the Dodgers and Thursday afternoon vs. the Rockies. The team now sits at 17-22, 8.5 games out of first and evened their record on the road at 10-10.
GOOD: Justin Upton. All we can do is hope that yesterday’s game against the Rockies will jump start the right fielder into his all-star form. He was just 3 for 14 in the four game set but was every bit of clutch his teammates could ask for on Thursday. After making a game saving catch ending an eighth inning rally by the Rockies, he came up in the ninth with two outs and Gerardo Parra on third. Upton belted a fastball on the outside part of the plate into the right field seats for an eventual game winning two run homerun. The hit was especially rewarding for Upton as it came against the Rockies closer, Rafael Betancourt who had owned him previously striking him out five times in the six at bats he had seen him.
*Also noteworthy for Upton is that he walked five times over the four games and only struck out three times.
*Bullpen. Even after yesterday’s tough outing for David Hernandez, the bullpen is still doing an excellent job keeping their club in the game. Over the last four games here’s their line: 10 1/3 IP 10 H 3 R 1 ER 3 BB 7 SO and they collected the win against the Rockies on Thursday as Ziegler came in with the bases loaded in the eighth and with a diving effort by Upton was able to end the inning.
*Brad Ziegler has now worked 8 1/3 consecutive scoreless while Craig Breslow has a current streak of 7 1/3 scoreless after working 3 scoreless over the last four games.
*J.J. Putz. He definitely made it interesting yesterday, giving up three hard hit singles to open up the ninth but worked his way out without any damage, collecting his seventh save in nine chances. This is the first time Putz has had back-to-back scoreless outings since April 10th and April 12th. It was the first save in 13 days for the closer.
*Team RISP. I finally feel comfortable putting this stat in the GOOD section. Over both two game sets this week the Dbacks finished 15 for 46 with runners in scoring position. They collected nine 2-out RBI’s in their two wins.
BAD: Starting Pitchers. This group of guys are still struggling to put together quality starts and put the offense in an early deficit in three of the four games during the week.
*Their line wasn’t impressive either: 23 2/3 IP 28 H 13 ER 8 BB 19 SO 4 HR. Especially concerning are the eight walks and four homeruns allowed in just four games.
*Wade Miley was the one bright spot in the rotation recording a win over 6 2/3 innings of work. Miley improved to 4-1 on the year and lowered his ERA to 2.52.
*Ian Kennedy has now lost three consecutive starts for the first time since June 2010. He is now 3-3 with a 3.81 ERA on the year.
3-4-5 Hitters. We saw a little more production this week from the heart of the lineup but they still finished just 10 for 47 with six runs and six RBI’s. They collected eight walks to help offset the 12 times they struck out.
UGLY: Team Strikeouts. The D-backs were fanned 33 times over the four games so far this week. This team has now had at least seven strikeouts in ten consecutive games- four of those included double-digit strikeout totals. Over those 10 games they have 91 K’s compared to 53 by their opponents.
*They are the current leaders in all of baseball in strikeouts with 320.
*Miguel Montero. He is in a bit of a slide as he’s 2 for his last 17 without an extra-base hit and just one RBI. He finished these four games 2 for 14. My guess is as soon as he stops swinging the bat 650mph he’ll start to get some more hits.
Offensive Inconsistency. This is what makes it difficult to watch on a daily basis. The Diamondbacks put together just five hits on Monday but then erupt for thirteen the next day. So the following day? Six hits. Then again yesterday- thirteen hits and nine runs. This is something that the Dbacks have really struggled with all season and plays a big part in their sub-.500 record. They haven’t enjoyed consecutive wins since April 30-May 1st, a span of 15 games.
Diamondback Killer: Dexter Fowler. The center fielder finished the two game set 4 for 5 with two triples, a double, four RBI’s and pair of walks.
NOTE: A.J. Pollock was optioned to AAA today to make room on the roster for Chris Young who was activated from the 15 day DL. Look for Young to DH at some point during the weekend series in Kansas City.
Now bring on those Royals!