D-backs believe Dallas Keuchel still has ‘some really good games left in him’

Jul 12, 2022, 5:23 PM | Updated: 5:26 pm

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel throws to a Colorado Rockies batter during the...

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel throws to a Colorado Rockies batter during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 7, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel will be making his fourth start in a D-backs uniform on Tuesday against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park.

The 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner has spent his 11-year career with the Houston Astros (2012-18), Atlanta Braves (2019) and Chicago White Sox (2020-21) before coming to the Valley last month.

However, the 34-year-old had the worst stint of his career in his final eight starts for the White Sox earlier this season.

In eight starts in the AL this year, the lefty went 2-5 with a 7.88 ERA and 2.156 WHIP to go along with 20 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched (5.6 K/9).

“We feel like we landed on somebody pretty good that can help us win baseball games,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Tuesday. “He won a Cy Young, he’s won world championships. It was like a video game to him. He could just go out and do whatever he wanted with the baseball — manipulate the baseball on each edge of the strike zone.

“He’s got a lot of mileage on him now. He’s pitched in a lot of big moments and he’s figuring out how to pitch with the stuff that he has. It’s not that far off from what he had when he was in his heyday. So we still believe that he’s got some really good innings left in him, some really good games left in him.”

But since making his D-backs debut on June 26, Keuchel has gone 1-2 with a 7.16 ERA and 1.531 WHIP in addition to 14 strikeouts in 16.1 innings pitched (7.7 K/9).

Keuchel’s last outing was his best in a year, as the lefty went seven innings for the first time since July 2021.

He allowed three runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out four on 98 pitches (67 strikes) en route to a quality start.

“What I’ve seen over the time that we’ve got him, each start has been progressively better with him being able to locate the ball on the particular edge of the plate, get a lot of ground balls, a lot of early count outs and he gave us seven unbelievable innings the other day,” Lovullo said. “It’s about him finding that consistency, about him continuing to work with Brett Strom — his pitching coach in Houston — who he knows very, very well to continue to grow and learn.

“That’s the beauty of what Dallas is all about even though he has walked a very impressive walk, he knows what he’s got to get to and he’s trying to learn every single day.”

First pitch between the D-backs and Giants is slated for 6:45 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Keuchel’s counterpart is scheduled to be right-handed starter Logan Webb (7-3, 2.98 ERA).

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