This isn’t the Cincinnati Reds folks. The St. Louis Cardinals know how to win, and they play fundamental baseball night in and night out.
The D-backs are going to have to play fundamental baseball, not make any mistakes especially on defense, and compete every at bat and every inning.
The Diamondbacks thrust themselves in the playoff picture after a four game sweep of the lowly Reds going over .500 at 62-61 for the first time since April 22nd, and coming into Monday night’s affair, the Snakes were only six games back of the Dodgers in the N.L. West.
Chase Field is going to be packed this week.
If the D-backs are going to be a playoff team, they have to start beating the best teams in baseball. This might be the most important series of the season, and given how good the Cardinals staff is, the D-backs starters are going to have to be at the top of their games.
The Diamondbacks this season don’t have a good track record against winning teams and they will face plenty of them the rest of the way.
With that in mind, here is a look at the starting pitchers we will see in games two, three, and four Tuesday through Thursday night.
A pair of southpaws going in different directions will duel in the desert in Game 2.
Robbie Ray is going to need to be better if the D-backs are going to have any chance of winning tomorrow’s game.
Ray has lost four straight games, and is 0-5 with a 5.18 ERA in his past six starts. Ray’s last victory came on July 7th. In 33 innings pitched, he has given up 36 hits, while walking 15.
Ray’s biggest problem this season has been his inability to go deep into ballgames. Ray throws too many pitches, and can’t seem to find his out pitch when he needs it. He’s giving up a lot of foul balls, which drives up his inning by inning pitch count.
Ray has never faced the Cardinals in his career.
Jaime Garcia has been one of the best starters in the National League when he has been healthy in 2015.
Since coming off the D.L. on July 28th, Garcia has made 12 starts, and has yet to allow more than three runs in an outing, and he has pitched into the seventh inning in eight of his past 12 starts.
Last time Garcia pitched against Arizona he allowed three runs across six innings pitched. Garcia features a fastball, curveball, cutter, and a changeup.
Garcia is 4-0 with a 2.78 ERA in four career starts against the Diamondbacks.
Patrick Corbin just didn’t have any of his pitches working in his last outing against the Reds going just two innings allowing eight hits and four runs.
However, since coming back from Tommy John Surgery, Corbin has pitched well, and has flashed signs of the ace we saw in 2013.
Overall, he is 3-3 with a 4.09 ERA this season, and he has a 3.13 ERA in four starts at Chase Field this season.
Corbin’s key to success is his ability to use his slider as his out pitch.
John Lackey has pitched really well in his past seven starts going 3-3 with a 2.98 ERA in 48.1 innings pitched allowing 46 hits and 19 earned runs.
However, Lackey hasn’t been good in the month of August, going 1-2 with a 4.10 ERA in four starts. Lackey doesn’t pitch well away from Busch Stadium. In 12 starts on the road this season he is 2-5 with a 4.40 ERA.
Lackey has made two career starts against the D-backs going 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA. He features a fastball, curveball, slider, and a changeup.
Aaron Hill has owned Lackey hitting .333 in 15 at bats with 1 HR and 4 RBI.
A couple of double digit game winners face off in the series finale on Thursday with a possible series win on the line.
Rubby De La Rosa has been the Diamondbacks ace this season especially as of late.
De La Rosa is 5-0 with a 2.48 ERA in his last 6 starts, and in his last start he went seven innings against the Reds, allowing just two runs.
With the Diamondbacks in playoff contention, the team will need De La Rosa to continue to be that ace to have a chance.
De La Rosa generates a lot of ground balls, and seems to find a way to limit the damage in the biggest situations. Hitters are batting just .205 this season with RISP.
What’s amazing is how much better De La Rosa has been in the 2nd half compared to the 1st half. In 110.1 innings pitched before the break, Rubby had a 5.06 ERA. He has a 2.54 ERA since then.
De La Rosa is 7-1 at home in 12 starts at home. He faced the Cardinals earlier this season allowing just one earned run over six innings pitched. Matt Carpenter is 2-for-3.
Carlos Martinez is quickly developing into one of the best young starters in the game, and it is not fun to face his stuff.
He is a 12 game winner, and for good reason. Left-handers are hitting just .267, and righties are hitting just .234.
Martinez pitches really well on the road. This season he is 6-3 with a 2.52 ERA away from St. Louis. In 4 games (1 start) against Arizona he has a 1.93 ERA.
Martinez features a fastball, slider, curveball, and a changeup.
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