Arizona Diamondbacks: Stopping the Dodgers, part 3
By Trisha Garcia
The Los Angeles Dodgers have small patterns in their losses, which the Arizona Diamondbacks can use to their advantage if their rotation shows a necessary strength.
But, even so, the likelihood of stopping the Dodgers red hot offense is slim to none. Every single part of their lineup can send a ball into the pool at Chase Field, not to mention providing the clutch comeback and walk off hits they rely on so often.
The Diamondbacks will need their offense, which hasn’t been ice cold lately, unless there are runners in scoring position.
Paul Goldschmidt’s bat has been alive and well for the better parts of the recent 10 game road trip. His .417 batting average includes 14 RBI, six runs scored, four walks and four home runs. The rest of the team averaged .200 in the those games.
According to Baseball Reference, the Diamondbacks scored 10 runs in the first three innings of their 10 road games. They scored 18 runs in the middle three innings and 11 runs in the last three innings. This makes the offense dangerous at any given point in a game.
However, the Diamondbacks have a clear strength in their offense. Over the span of their road trip, they were walked 37 times and hit by nine pitches, putting an additional 46 players on base.
Working into those high counts will be vital in the series against the Dodgers.
In the bullpen, the Diamondbacks have relied on relief pitching for 32.1 innings in their 10 games. The bullpens ERA is 3.06 with a 1.27 WHIP. Those are average numbers, but looking at them independently provides a clearer picture.
Recently acquired David Hernandez, Archie Bradley and Fernando Rodney had excellent road trips. In the 10 games, each reliever made three to four appearances without allowing a run to score.
Hernandez didn’t allow a single batter to reach base in 2.1 IP, while Bradley allowed one hit and walked one batter in 3.2 IP and Rodney allowed one hit and walked two batters in 4 IP.
Jake Barrett should get an honorable mention, as he didn’t allow a single run to score in 3.2 IP over five appearances. However, he did allow three hits and he walked three batters which gives him an 1.64 WHIP compared to his nonexistent ERA.
The rotation also had its dark spots, including T.J. McFarland allowing seven earned runs (nine total) on 11 hits in 7.2 innings of long relief. Rubby De La Rosa and Andrew Chafin did not fare well either.
With the extra day of rest, Bradley and Rodney haven’t seen action in three days. They should be ready to go every day of the series if necessary.
If the Diamondbacks need more help out of the bullpen, they should call on David Hernandez and Jake Barrett. In this series, anyone else is a risk not worth taking.
To review, the Diamondbacks need to battle in at-bats to drive up the opposing starters pitch count, hold the Dodgers offense to little to no runs in the first three innings and let the Hernandez-Bradley-Rodney bullpen dominance continue.