So far this season, the Arizona Diamondbacks have dropped 19 of 32 series played.
One of the favorite mantras of manager Chip Hale of the Arizona Diamondbacks to stress the need to win series. In fact, that’s pretty much the creed of all major league managers.
If their team takes a series, usually of three games, that would mean a mark of .667. No team achieves that high, but it is fact that the team which wins a vast majority of their series usually competes for their division title.
In the case of the Arizona Diamondbacks, their season mark of 42-60, coming into this weekend’s series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, represents a composite of lost series and missed opportunities. Of the 32 series to date, the Arizona Diamondbacks are 10-19-3 in series of two or more games. Thus far, they have not played an opponent in a single series, or one game, and that one is usually reserved for a make-up.
In the course of the season, the Arizona Diamondbacks have won back-to-back series three times and failed to win consecutive series five times. Those two straight series wins came at St Louis (won two-of three, May 20-22), and against the New York Yankees (won two-of-three at home May 16-18). They took a series at Colorado (two-of-three, May 9-11), and sept the Braves in three at Atlanta (May 6-8). As well, they swept the Giants in San Francisco (in four, April 18-21), and previously on that trip, took three of three from the Padres in San Diego (April 15-17).
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In dropping three of four in their most recent series to the Brewers in Milwaukee, the bullpen failed during a previous game in this series, and on Thursday, starter Robbie Ray allowed the go-ahead single with two on to Martin Maldonado, the Brewers catcher. If starters have trouble giving Hale distance, the bullpen share the core responsibility.
Set-up reliever Daniel Hudson, rumored to be on his way out of the desert, had recent difficulties. Currently holding a 1-2 mark with a 6.02 ERA, Hudson has allowed 20 earned runs in his last eight innings 20 earned runs over his last eight innings.
After Ray allowed to go-ahead run in an eventual 6-4 loss to Milwaukee Thursday afternoon, Enrique Burgos came in and allowed a two-run double to Keon Broxton, and lasted only 1/3 of an inning.
“Our bullpen has got to be able to hold it there,” Hale told MLB.com. “That’s a spot where they come in and Burgos has got to be able to get that guy out and get us in the dugout. We’ve got to find some guys out of our bullpen that are going to stop the bleeding and shut it down. It’s imperative. And if we can’t find them here, we’re going to have to go elsewhere and give other guys a chance.”
That may be too late for the season appears to have long slip away. Should the Diamondbacks have strung a few more series wins together, protracted trade talks would concentrate on what assistance the Arizona Diamondbacks could acquire for the stretch run. Instead, general manager Dave Stewart is reduced to a deal-maker where the Arizona Diamondbacks are strictly sellers.
In So Cal
The Arizona Diamondbacks close out their current road trip in Dodger Stadium and a three-game weekend set.
On Friday night, right-hander Zack Godley (3-1, 5.88 ERA) takes on righty Kenta Maeda (9-7, 3.25) at 7:10 p.m. On Saturday night at 6:10 p.m., look for Branden Shipley (0-1, 10.13) to get his second major league start and go against lefty Scott Kazmir (9-3, 4.35). For the Sunday afternoon (1:10 p.m.) series and current road trip finale, it’s lefty Patrick Corbin (4-9, 5.31) opposing righty Bud Norris (6-9, 4.27).
Then, the Arizona Diamondbacks return to Chase Field for a six-game home stand. First, the Washington Nationals come in for three, and then three with the Milwaukee Brewers.