The offense for the Arizona Diamondbacks has not been the same since leaving Chase Field for three-city California road trip.
Fruitful is one word to describe the Arizona Diamondbacks offense during a 6-1 opening homestand.
Anemic is a perfect description of the hitters’ production during the first five games of a 10-game, three city California road trip. As a team, Arizona has hit .183 (30-for-164) against the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.
With one game remaining against L.A. (Monday night) before a series with the San Diego Padres, the Diamondbacks picked themselves off the mat with a solid effort from starter Taijuan Walker. In gaining a 3-1 victory over the Dodgers, Walker allowed five hits , walked one and fanned seven hitters.
After an 8-4 loss on Saturday night, manager Torey Lovullo’s club fell into a second-place tie with the Dodgers at 7-5. With Sunday’s win, they trail the division-leading Colorado Rockies by one-half game.
Overall, the Diamondbacks have scored the second-most runs in the majors this season (60). They also own the best batting average with RISP (.340). Yet, the first seven games at Chase Field are primarily responsible for these numbers.
Moving from hitter-friendly Chase Field to pitcher-friendly AT&T Park can make it difficult for bats to stay hot. That was the case Monday through Wednesday. Giants left-hander Matt Moore brought his A grade stuff. He gave up just four hits and the Diamondbacks went 0-for-4 with RISP.
On Tuesday evening, Arizona had opportunities. They ended up with nine hits but were 3-for-12 with RISP and 10 left on base. The offense sang the same tune on Wednesday. The Diamondbacks recorded eight hits but went 1-for-9 with RISP with nine left-on-base.
After hitting .422 with 32 RBI with RISP at home, the offense has either not generated enough opportunities or have not capitalized.
It is hard to get in a rhythm when three of your best run producers are not hitting, and that has been the case in San Francisco and Los Angeles. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt is just 2-for-17 on the trip. Center fielder A.J. Pollock and second baseman Brandon Drury are both 2-for-19.
Goldschmidt’s struggles are alarming because he has always enjoyed hitting at both AT&T Park and Dodger Stadium. “America’s First Baseman” is a career .330 hitter in 47 games at Dodger Stadium.
In the Sunday win, the offense was powered by Chris Owings, who went 2-for-4 against L. A. starter Rich Hill and five relievers. Owings hit safely on 10 of 11 games and a .356 (16-for-45) batting average.
Prior to Sunday’s game, the Dodgers activated Hill off the 10-day disabled list. He missed one turn in the rotation with a persistent blister issue.
This was the Dodgers’ lineup faced Walker, whose costly error in his last start on Monday against the Giants helped San Francisco score three runs on a chop back to the mound by the pitcher.
On Monday night, the Diamondbacks conclude their four-game set with the Dodgers. Look for left-hander Robbie Ray (1-0, 2.19 ERA) to face former Diamondback right-hander Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 1.50 ERA).
Arizona will conclude the road trip with three games in San Diego. Here are the probable pitchers for Tuesday and Wednesday at Petco Park:
Tuesday: RHP Shelby Miller (1-1, 5.06 ERA) vs. RHP Jared Cosart (0-0, 3.86 ERA)
Wednesday: RHP Zack Greinke (1-1, 4.32 ERA) vs. RHP Jhoulys Chacin (1-2, 7.80 ERA)
The first two games against the Padres start at 7:10 p.m., Phoenix time. Both teams have not announced who will start on Thursday. That game starts at 6:10 p.m. Phoenix time.