The Arizona Diamondbacks completed their third road sweep of the season against the Mets
The strange odyssey that is the current season of the Arizona Diamondbacks continued this week at Citi Field. Beyond reasonable explanation, this team plays much better in visiting ball parks than in Chase Field. The sweep of the New York Mets over the past few days continues to show the Diamondbacks are traversing through a Jekyll and Hyde season. Principals continue to worry how this season could be split into two different scenarios.
If the Arizona Diamondbacks somehow found a formula to engage in better baseball at home, media and pundits would not be as quick to write frequent obituaries from the desert.
The latest evidence trail was littered all over Citi Field in Queens. After Branden Shipley turned in his third quality start in four starts since recalled from the minors, he helped himself with offense (1-4, one RBI, stolen base). At the end of the day, the Arizona Diamondbacks seem to take out their frustrations on the Mets with a 9-0 victory Thursday afternoon. Reducing the contending Metropolitans to a shell of their expectation, the masked identity of the Diamondbacks has to be maddening.
With the sweep of the Mets, the Arizona Diamondbacks stopped an 8-26 free-fall. They are now 29-27 in road games. Their horrid play in Chase Field has been under the microscope all season. The Arizona Diamondbacks are 19-39 playing in the desert.
“Some of the ballparks bode better for them,” manager Chip Hale told ESPN.com of his pitchers. “The weather, the humidity helps the guys’ balls move. But we have to do better. This is something that’s not going to be acceptable for us. We have to play better at home.”
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If the Arizona Diamondbacks put a temporary roadblock in front of the Mets, they will try and do the same in Boston. At the start of a three-game set against Arizona Friday night, the Red Sox are behind the American League East division-leading Toronto Blue Jays by three games. They trial second place Baltimore Orioles by 2.5 games. They are two games back of the Jays in the lost column.
After sweeping the Mets, Hale engineered an offense which stole 13 bases in the three games. That established a franchise record for most steals in a series.
“I think we were just aggressive,” Hale told MLB.com. “We got in good situations. The score allowed us to do that a lot. We talked about pushing the envelope, but if you’re down three, four, five runs early in the game, it’s hard to do that.”
Out for the season
Outfielder David Peralta underwent surgery Thursday. That was to stabilize a tendon in his right wrist Thursday. Performed by team Dr. Donald Sheridan, the team’s orthopedic hand specialist, Peralta will miss the rest of the season. After hit twice on the same wrist by Giants’ reliever Josh Osich in mid-April, Peralta re-injured the wrist making leaping catch against the right field fence on Aug. 5.
Peralta is expected to make a full recovery. He should be ready for spring training next February at Salt River.
The Arizona Diamondbacks now move on to Fenway for three with the Red Sox,
On Friday night, it’s lefty Patrick Corbin (4-11, 5.37) taking on left-hander David Price (9-8, 4.34). On Saturday, look for righty Archie Bradley (4-7, 4.80) to face right-hander Clay Buchholz (4-9, 5.64). In the Sunday series and current road trip finale, righty Zack Greinke (11-3, 3.67) makes his second start since coming off the disabled list (strain right oblique) and will face right-hander Rick Porcello (15-3, 3.40).
Facing the opposition with significant numbers, Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox is 3-12 lifetime against Greinke, and David Oritz is 2-13. Aaron Hill has faced Greinke the most times in his career of any Boston player, and is 9-37 (.243) with a one home run lifetime.
Against Porcello, Michael is Bourn is 2-12 (.167) and Bourn is 3-19 (.158, five strike outs) life time against Price.
Since the Diamondbacks traded closer Brad Ziegler to the Red Sox, the reliever is 0-2 for Boston, but sports an 0.87 ERA. For Arizona, Ziegler was 2-3 in 36 appearances with 18 saves.