The Arizona Diamondbacks offense stranded eight runners on base on Thursday night in San Diego.
Baseball is a team game. Last season, the Arizona Diamondbacks scored plenty of runs. Yet, the team finished just one game ahead of the cellar-dwelling San Diego Padres in the National League West because the pitchers and fielders were inconsistent.
Fast forward to 2017. Arizona finished the opening homestand 6-1. The offense scored more runs than any other team and the starters and relievers combined for a 3.57 ERA. The combination of a potent offense and a shutdown pitching staff allowed the Diamondbacks to overcome sloppy defense.
The Diamondbacks fortunes took a turn for the worse in California. Three parts of the team got the job done in Phoenix. One part of the team showed up in California.
Across 10 games with the Giants, Dodgers, and Padres, the starting rotation compiled a 2.98 ERA. Over the last five games, the starters went 3-2 with a 1.37 ERA and a .186 opponents batting average. Six quality starts were recorded. Six quality starts were recorded and the result was three wins and five losses.
Six quality starts were recorded. Thanks to a lack of run support, the starters could only gain three wins against six losses.
Clutch hitting disappears
Hits with runners in scoring position were easy to come by at Chase Field, but the bats cooled off in California. The offense hit .229 (16-for-70) with RISP.
Going from Chase Field to AT&T Park, Dodger Stadium, and Petco Park is never easy. The Diamondbacks averaged an MLB leading 6.86 runs per game at home. Nobody can expect that kind of production at pitcher-friendly venues.
Hitting .211 as a team and .229 with RISP was not helpful. Paul Goldschmidt was 5-for-33 with one RBI. The number three hitter is expected to do more. Goldschmidt did walk nine times, but he also struck out a ton. “America’s First Baseman” should get pitches to hit with Jake Lamb hitting behind him.
As the number three hitter, Goldschmidt is expected to produce. Goldschmidt did walk nine times, but he also struck out . “America’s First Baseman” should get pitches to hit with Jake Lamb hitting behind him. Lamb is tied for fourth in the N.L. in RBI with 14 and has reached base safely in a career-best 15 straight games.
Back-to-back victories in Los Angeles seemed to change the tenor of the trip. Losing two of three a rebuilding Padres team put those thoughts to bed.
The Diamondbacks were 1-for-9 with RISP on Thursday at San Diego. Arizona had a chance to pounce on Padres starter Clayton Richard with two outs in the first. Instead, Yasmany Tomas struck out with runners on second and third.
The Diamondbacks return to Chase Field on Friday to open up a three-game series with the Dodgers. Look for RHP Taijuan Walker to oppose LHP Alex Wood.
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