The Arizona Diamondbacks host the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field, in the finale of the 2017 Opening Series Thursday night
Wednesday night’s comeback win over the Giants gives the Arizona Diamondbacks a chance to start the new season with a series win tonight.
The Arizona Diamondbacks came into Wednesday night’s affair looking to start 2-1 for the eighth time in franchise history. The last time the Diamondbacks started 2-1 was 2013, and they did just that.
Taijuan Walker got the win in his Diamondbacks debut and kept his team in the game with six quality innings, and the offense scored seven runs in the middle innings.
The Major League Baseball Season is a marathon, not a sprint, but the first month can often decide a team’s season. Arizona started 2016 with a 12-14 April record and won just 11 games in May.
The N.L. West is tough, and teams hoping to compete can ill afford to fall behind early. The Snakes have a prime opportunity to earn a competitive edge.
Manager Torey Lovullo‘s club will play the majority of their games this month against division rivals. The team’s first 14 games are against playoff teams, including this weekend’s series with the defending American League champion Cleveland Indians.
What: Giants (1-2) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (2-1)
Where: Chase Field
When: 6:40 p.m.
TV: FSAZ (check channel listings)
Radio: ESPN Phoenix 620 AM/ KHOV 105.1 FM (Spanish)
Live Stream: MLB.tv, Fox Sports GO
Weather: The forecasted high in Phoenix is 89 degrees.
Taijuan Walker gave the Arizona Diamondbacks six innings on Wednesday, and Robbie Ray will look to do the same.
Ray reached the 200-strike mark and became the fourth pitcher in franchise history over ten separate occasions to reach that plateau. He finished second in the N.L. in strikeouts per nine innings with 11.25.
The problem for Ray has always been pitch efficiency. He got hammered by the Cleveland Indians in his last Salt River Fields start but bounced back nicely in his final spring tune-up against Cleveland at Chase Field.
Ray averaged five innings per start in 2016 partly because he averaged 4.09 pitches per plate appearance and about 18 pitches per inning. Ray needs to find a way to pitch to contact, use his changeup more to keep the ball on the ground and surrender fewer home runs, after allowing 24 of them in 2016.
In four career starts against the Giants spanning 22 innings, Ray has a 3.38 ERA with 33 strikeouts. Brandon Belt loves to hit lefties, and he has had success against Ray. In seven career at-bats, Belt has a double, triple and three RBI.
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Samardzija has a 3.31 career ERA against Arizona in 12 games (seven starts). Jake Lamb has three hits in seven career at-bats off “The Shark.” Chris Herrmann, Chris Iannetta, Chris Owings and A.J. Pollock have made contacts in limited at-bats as well.