In true 2012 spirit the Diamondbacks continued their Jekyll and Hyde antics through the Marlins series and finished with a four game split. In the first two matchups the Dbacks allowed thirty-five hits and eighteen runs but then surrendered just two runs over the next eighteen innings while collecting a pair of wins. It’s what we’ve come to expect of this year’s team and probably what we should expect for the remainder of the year.
If you told me at the beginning of the 2011 season that in August of that year the team was three games over .500 and within striking distance of the N.L. West lead I would have been impressed. But since that 2011 team had a huge breakout season posting 94 wins, it makes the team of 2012 seem like a flop.
Record Notes: With their win(s) on Wednesday the team improved to 64-61 and sits six full games behind the first place Giants. It was the team’s fourth straight four game split and they’re now 1-1-4 in four game series this season. Luckily for the Dbacks as they continue to play .500 ball this late in the season so do the Giants, Dodgers and the Pirates who Arizona trails in the Wild Card by just 4.5 games. Despite all the ups and downs and disappointing games this team has played they still sit right in the thick of things when it all matters- something we should all be excited about.
*The Diamondbacks completed their first ever doubleheader at Chase Field with a sweep on Wednesday on the backs of two rookies, Tyler Skaggs and Wade Miley.
GOOD: Wade Miley was again exceptional on Wednesday night hurling eight shutout innings while allowing just four hits. He capped his night off by striking out the side in the eighth. It was the fifth time this season he worked at least six innings without allowing an earned run and the thirteenth time in twenty-two starts that he’s allowed one or fewer runs. Miley has to be the front runner for Rookie of the Year honors with 14 wins and an ERA of 2.80.
*David Hernandez and J.J. Putz are the most reliable relievers on the team right now and for the first time since April 12th Putz can say his ERA is under 3.00 (2.95). Putz had an awful April and May but looks like he’ll still finish with 30-35 saves and his ERA will hopefully hover around the 3.00 mark the remainder of the season. Hernandez worked two innings against the Marlins and struck out five hitters. In his last 9 2/3 innings he has recorded 16 strikeouts and a win while posting an ERA of .93.
*Aaron Hill had six hits against the Marlins while knocking in all three runs in game one of the double header with a two run homerun in the first and an RBI single in the third. He now has five multi-hit games in his last seven contests and has not struck out in his last twenty-nine at bats.
*Tyler Skaggs produced quite the debut on Wednesday working into the seventh before giving way to Brad Ziegler after he allowed a two out walk. Gibson said Skaggs could have finished the inning but because it was his debut he wasn’t going to allow him to get the loss after such a great outing. The two runs he allowed came after a leadoff walk in the second to Giancarlo Stanton and then two pitches later served up a long homerun to dead centerfield. He walked five batters in all- something that he may not be so lucky with minimizing damage next time out. Another advantage to relieving Skaggs in the seventh was that he was able to walk off the field to a standing ovation at Chase Field, something he said was the “greatest feeling I’ve ever had.” It was a pretty great moment being at the game and watching him walk towards us as he tipped his cap.
BAD: Trevor Cahill was not as fortunate as Skaggs in his outing on Tuesday despite being spotted a five run lead in the first inning. He was unable to make it out of the sixth as he allowed seven hits and four earned runs on the day. He escaped without the loss as the team headed to extra innings later in the night. Cahill continues to be inconsistent and unimpressive throughout his first season as a Diamondback and has a 9-10 record with an ERA of 3.86.
*Chris Johnson’s playing time has diminished as of late and he recorded just two hits against the Marlins- although they both resulted in an RBI. He is now just 3 for his last 28 with 8 strikeouts since he hammered two homeruns on August 7th against the Pirates.
UGLY: Joe Saunders posted his worst outing of his career on Monday working just 3 2/3 innings while allowing nine earned runs on twelve hits. He surrendered two homeruns in the outing and has tossed up four dingers in his last two starts where he’s now allowed 14 earned runs in 9 2/3 innings. Since August 9th when his ERA was a very respectable 3.52 he has seen his earned run average sky rocket to 4.22 and dropped to 6-10 on the year.
*One-run games. A year ago [when everything went right for the club] the team was a major league best 28-16 but 2012 has been a different story as they’re just 10-18 this season in one-run games. The team blew a five run lead to the Marlins Tuesday to fall in extra innings 6-5 and then won a one run game 3-2 on Wednesday.
NOTES: Jason Kubel gunned down Jose Reyes as he headed to third on Monday to record his 12th outfield assist tying a club record with Eric Byrnes and Gerardo Parra.
*Ryan Wheeler recorded his first major league multi-hit game on Tuesday finishing 2 for 3.
*With their extra inning loss on Tuesday, the team dropped to 1-2 in such games. The team has played the fewest extra inning games of all major league teams.
*Justin Upton pulled up limping after scoring in the first inning Tuesday and was removed from the game. He sat out both games of the double header but is believed to be ready for action this weekend.
*The homestand continues tonight as the Dbacks take on the San Diego Padres who have won four straight heading to Chase Field. The Dbacks will send their third consecutive rookie starter to the hill in Patrick Corbin who’ll face off with Eric Stults.