I’ll be the first to apologize to the fans that were able to make it out to the Diamondbacks weekend series against the fourth place Padres as there was very little to cheer about in any of the three games. They were shutout Friday, blown out Saturday and failed to come out on top of yet another one run game on Sunday- a game in which they never had the lead. Of course part of the game of baseball is losing. You’re going to lose a lot over the course of a 162 game season; it’s just hard to watch such an uninspiring series against a team with 70 losses in August as you’re the ones that are supposed to be grinding for a playoff spot.
Credit is due to the Padres however, as they’ve now won seven straight games overall and are an impressive 15-9 in August. Their starters pitched effectively and late into games- something not one of our starters got even close to doing.
Transactions: Joe Saunders was dealt to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday morning for hard throwing right handed reliever Matt Lindstrom and either cash considerations or a player to be named later. Saunders had struggled as of late and is 6-10 with a 4.22 ERA on the season. Lindstrom is 1-0 with a 2.72 ERA in 32 appearances for the Orioles.
Record Notes: With the loss on Sunday, the Dbacks fell back to .500 at 64-64. Their home record sits at 33-31 but they’ve now dropped 10 of their last 14 at Chase Field after winning eight straight contests at home in July. With the sweep, the Padres have now taken a franchise high seven straight from the Diamondbacks which includes two sweeps- the first time the Padres have ever swept the Dbacks at Chase Field.
*With their 5-4 defeat Sunday, the team fell to 10-19 in one-run games, a league worst.
*Friday’s 5-0 defeat marked the fourth time since the All Star break that the offense has been shutout.
GOOD: Justin Upton was one of the bright spots this weekend finishing 4 for 8 with an inside the park homerun on his 25th birthday. He is now 7 for his last 19 (.368) and has reached base safely in 19 straight games. The homerun was his 10th on the season, the longest it has ever taken the right fielder to hit his 10th homerun.
*Aaron Hill hit his 19th and 20th homeruns on the year on Saturday and Sunday- his highest total since 2010 when he belted 26. He leads all National League second basemen in homeruns and is tied for second in doubles at his position. He has also matched his RBI total from 2011 at 61.
*Bullpen. For what they were asked to do in this series, this group of guys did a good job. While they gave up at least one run in each game of the series, they did end up throwing more innings combined than all three starting pitchers combined- 14 innings for the bullpen; 13 for the starters. On both Friday and Sunday they threw 5+ innings allowing just one run in each outing. The issue was that by the time the bullpen was summoned, the Dbacks starters had already given up four runs in each affair.
BAD: RISP. The offense in general was pretty flat but it doesn’t help when you have opportunities to cash in and fail. They were a combined 0-10 with runners in scoring position Friday and Saturday and finished just 2-15 in the category during the series. There were multiple occasions where the Dbacks had a guy on second (or third) with a chance to make some damage and a strikeout would ensue killing any momentum the club had built up.
*Paul Goldschmidt was one of a few that went hitless this series finishing 0 for 7. He did walk four times and score two runs but he is mired in a 2-18 and 6-32 (.188) slump currently. With Goldie collecting zero hits, Montero finishing 2 for 12 and Kubel finishing 0 for 9 you’re not going to see too many runs put up for the Dbacks.
UGLY: Ian Kennedy continues to struggle in 2012 with another ugly outing on Saturday allowing another three homeruns (all solo shots) and walking four hitters on his way to giving up six earned runs in just 5 1/3 innings. In the month of August, the team’s ace has surrendered eight homeruns and sixteen walks posting a 5.60 ERA. He has now matched his career high in homeruns allowed in a season (26) which is also tied for the most allowed by any pitcher in the National League. As he struggles with his control he beaned his eighth batter on the season- a career high. At this point we just have to hope that Kennedy can grind out the remainder of 2012 without enduring some type of arm injury that would hinder his chances of coming back strong in 2013.
*Trevor Cahill was hit hard again on Sunday as he provided the Dbacks with the shortest outing of the season at 3 2/3 innings allowing eight hits and four earned runs. He failed to get out of the first inning unscathed for the 19th time in 26 starts. His first inning was as follows: groundout, groundout, single, walk, RBI single, RBI single, walk, groundout. There’s definitely something going through Cahill’s head in the first as he really struggles to get three outs without allowing a run- he finished the second by striking out the side.
NOTES: The Padres scored ten of their nineteen runs in the series with two outs.
*Rookie Jake Elmore was 0 for 7 in the series and is now 0 for his last 14. He has yet to record a major league RBI or score a run.
*Paul Goldschmidt hasn’t homered in ten consecutive games, his longest streak without a long ball since he went eleven games from May 12- 26th.
*The team begins the last three games of their ten game home stand tonight against the Cincinnati Reds. Lefty Tyler Skaggs is making his second career start facing Bronson Arroyo. The Reds have lost three of four but Arroyo comes in on a personal three game winning streak.
Now bring on the Reds!!