The Arizona Diamondbacks (37-35) are set to square off against the Atlanta Braves (38-34) in one of the highest anticipated series in recent memory. The Diamondbacks are winners of four in a row and seven of the last ten games.
After a slow start to the season, everything seems to be falling in at the right time for the Snakes to make a run at the Los Angeles Dodgers (43-30) and first place in the NL West only 5.5 games back. Justin Upton has recovered from his early season struggles, hitting .400, with a .455 slugging percentage and a .750 on base percentage in the Diamondbacks last seven games.
As Upton goes, so goes the Diamondbacks and that shows in the four game winning streak. During the last seven games; Gerardo Parra is hitting a solid .500, Miguel Montero is hitting .476 with 9 RBIs, Willie Bloomquist is hitting .467, and Paul Goldschmidt is hitting .438.
The Diamondbacks pitching staff has been anchored by rookie Wade Miley, who is making a strong case to win NL Rookie of the Year over the Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper. Miley has gone 9-3 with a 2.19 ERA in 15 games. He has 64 strikeouts while only walking 18, with a WHIP of 1.01.
The Braves have had a couple of tough series, losing two in a row and six of the last ten. Tim Hudson will take the mound against Daniel Hudson, who hasn’t been the same since coming off the disabled list last month. Tim Hudson has been going the opposite way, only allowing five runs total in his last three starts.
This is as far as the Diamondbacks probable pitchers go, although the most anticipated announcement will be when manager Kirk Gibson announces who his starter will be for the Thursday game opposite Jair Jurrjens. The speculation is that it will be the much anticipated call-up of top prospect Trevor Bauer from Triple-A. Bauer only went two innings in his last start, to seemingly set up his MLB debut in place of the injured Joe Saunders.
Bauer has split time between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno, going 11-1 with a 2.23 ERA in 16 games, with a 1.32 WHIP and 116 strikeouts. Bauer has an unorthodox delivery that seems to suit him well and he should flourish if he does indeed get the call-up for the start against the Braves. With Bauer possibly being added to the rotation and the improved play of the Diamondbacks offensively, they are poised to make a run at the division title.