With several off-days looming, manager Torey Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks may juggle his rotation.
Filling in as a spot starter, the way Randall Delgado of the Arizona Diamondbacks has pitched these days, it would take nearly a no-hitter to overshadow his recent performances.
Coming into his latest start on Saturday against the Miami Marlins, Delgado, making his third start of the season, recorded a 1.86 ERA in his two previous starts. Over his previous nine appearances, before Saturday, the native of Panama had a 1.13 ERA. That equates to three earned runs in 24.0 innings.
Against the Marlins, Delgado continued to keep the Diamondbacks in the game. Taken out by in the sixth inning, he allowed just one run, and left trailing 1-0. In order to beat Delgado, Marlins’ starter Edinson Volquez pitched the game of his life and delivered the sixth no-hitter in Miami history. Despite taking a 3-0 decision, Delgado lowered his season ERA to 3.24.
As a pitching staff, the Diamondbacks have a team ERA of 3.59, and that’s second behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (3.20) in the National League. All of which accentuates a principal reason why the Diamondbacks are battling the Colorado Rockies and Dodgers atop the National League West Division.
That comes down two essential two words, starting pitching.
For Sunday, right-hander Braden Shipley will get the start against the Marlins. Recalled from Triple-A Reno, Shipley becomes another of manager Torey Lovullo’s spot starters. Taking the place of Taijuan Walker, currently on the DL with a blister on his pitching hand, Shipley will make his second start of the season. In his lone start in Washington, he lost to the Nationals in a game in which he allowed five hits and three runs in four innings.
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After the Sunday contest in Marlins Park, the Diamondbacks return to Chase Field and the schedule allow for flexibility.
With three who began the season as starters still in the rotation, Zack Greinke, Patrick Corbin and Robbie Ray, Lovullo does not have to name a starter for Monday June 5, Monday June 12, Thursday June 15 and Monday June 19. These are off-days and Lovullo can allow for a four-man rotation. Throw in an occasional spot start and Lovullo may not be pressed to name a full, five-man ration until late June.
Then again, that may not be the case. That’s because the Diamondbacks have another day-off, Monday July 3 and then the four-day All-Star break the following week.
Should the Diamondbacks remain competitive and in the NL West Division race, the month of August could be interesting. The Diamondbacks have only two days off the entire month and have series with the Cubs (at Wrigley Field and Chase), home-and home with Houston, the team with the best record in the majors, and six games in Chase Field against the Dodgers.
For now, Delgado’s effort, the rise of Ray, his control and presence, as well as the steady, solid season turned by Greinke all give Lovullo reason to believe this team will stay competitive in the competitive NL West.
The Diamondbacks return to Chase Field and open a six-game home stand beginning Tuesday night with the San Diego Padres That’s when Ray (5-3, 3.00 ERA) opens this slate of games in the desert. Look for Padres’ right-hander Dinelson Lament (2-0, 2.70) as his mound opponent.
On Wednesday night, it’s Greinke (7-3, 3.06) taking on righty Luis Perdomo (0-2, 5.01). In the series finale Thursday afternoon, lefty Patrick Corbin (4-6, 5.43) opposes lefty Clayton Richard (4-6, 4.36).
"Arizona Diamondbacks: Odds improving for success"
Then, the Milwaukee Brewers move for a three-game set this weekend. The Diamondbacks then vacant the desert for an eight-game road for two in Detroit, three in Philadelphia and three with Rockies in Denver.