Whether it’s considered an arbitrary dividing line or not, the All-Star break can be a turning point for a baseball team. If things are going well, it gives the club a rest to catch their breath before the stretch run. And if the first half of the season was a struggle, well, it offers a chance to step back, regroup and hit the ground running for the second half.
Unfortunately for the Arizona Diamondbacks, life after the All-Star break looks strikingly similar to what we saw in the first 90 games. So far, at least.
Chris Taylor clubbed a grand slam, drove in six runs and nearly hit for the cycle as the Los Angeles Dodgers knocked off the D-backs by a final of 13-7 in front of 30,639 fans at Chase Field on Friday. When the dust settled, all nine LA starters had at least one hit.
Patrick Corbin took the loss, enduring one of his worst statistical outings of the season. He lasted just 4.0 innings, while yielding six earned runs. Though, to be fair, the defense didn’t do him a lot of favors early on.
It’s a tough start for Chip Hale’s group who, more than anything, just needs to get their young pitchers back on track in the second half of the season. If the playoffs really are out of reach — and that certainly seems to be the case — then getting guys like Corbin and Archie Bradley rolling, confident and ready to go for the 2017 campaign has to be at the very top of the organization’s priority list.
That didn’t work out for them on Friday, but they’ve still got 71 games left to work some things out.
With the loss, Arizona is now 38-53 overall this season — and a baffling 15-33 at home.
-Michael Bourn sparked the offense early, chipping in a triple, scoring twice and driving in a pair.
-Paul Goldschmidt delivered his 16th home run of the season in the seventh, and is now hitting .357 (46-for-129) with six long balls in his last 32 games.
-Jake Lamb picked up right where he left off at the plate, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. He’s now hitting .375 (30-for-80) with 22 RBI over his last 23 games.
-Josh Collmenter was the lone bright spot on the mound, tossing a pair of shutout innings while striking out two and making a fine defensive play in eighth.
-Lamb committed a pair of costly errors in the third, allowing Bud Norris to reach first base to lead off the inning, then mishandling a chopper off the bat of Justin Turner that brought Norris around to score.
-Despite falling behind 2-0 early, the D-backs were able to rally and take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third. LA instantly responded with five runs in the top of the fourth though, ripping away momentum — and the lead — for good.
-Hale had to make the call to the bullpen earlier than anticipated and, other than Collmenter, they didn’t respond all that well. Dominic Leone, Edwin Escobar, Silvino Bracho and Randall Delgado combined to surrender six earned runs in just 3.0 innings.
STAT OF THE GAME
36: The number of hits Arizona has gotten from pitchers this season, after Corbin delivered an infield single to open the third. That matches last year’s total, and already exceeds the 34 they put up in 2014.
HE SAID IT
“Offense did a great job there. I mean, they scored seven runs tonight — we should win this game. So it’s just frustrating that they did their job and I let them down.” – Patrick Corbin
-Escobar was recalled from Triple-A Reno before the game.
The Diamondbacks and Dodgers will get together at Chase Field for the second game of this three-game series on Saturday. Archie Bradley takes the mound for Arizona, while Los Angeles counters with Brandon McCarthy. First pitch is set for 5:10, with pregame coverage beginning at 4:30 on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Bradley (3-5) has lost his last two starts, but he looked solid in his most recent outing, scattering 2 earned runs over 6.0 innings in a 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Giants on July 10. He’s now lasted at least 6.0 innings in each of his last three outings, but hasn’t managed to pick up a win since June 19.
This will mark his second meeting with the Dodgers in 2016. His first didn’t go so well, as he was touched up for 5 runs and a season-high 3 homeruns over 5.2 innings back on June 14. In two career starts against LA, he has fanned 15 over 11.2 innings.
McCarthy (2-0) will be making just his third start of the year, but he was victorious in each of his first two. He tossed 5.0 scoreless innings against the Rockies on July 3, then allowed three runs over 5.0 innings in a win over the Padres on July 9.
Arizona is the only Major League team that the 33-year old righty has yet to face in his career. He did make 40 starts for the Diamondbacks in 2013 and 2014 though.