Most of the struggles the Arizona Diamondbacks have endured through the first month and a half of the season can be traced back to pitching. That’s not the only reason that they’ve lost games, but it’s been a predominant reason for their roller coaster of a start.
So far on this homestand, it’s been a lack of hitting that has done the D-backs in.
Timely hitting, to be exact.
A day after managing just two runs in a 4-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants, Arizona mustered one run in a 3-1 defeat in front of 21,753 fans at Chase Field on Friday.
It’s not as if the D-backs are failing to connect with the ball, they’re just failing to string enough baserunners together so they can put some players across the plate. They’ve compiled 18 hits over these last two games.
Shelby Miller got the start in this one, coming off his first win of the year against his former team in Atlanta on Sunday. And he looked strong through five innings, scattering four hits while inducing three double plays to hold the Giants scoreless. He even tripled home Arizona’s only run of the game in the bottom of the fifth.
Then the sixth inning happened.
Angel Pagan singled, then moved to second on a single by Denard Span. A wild pitch by Miller advanced the runners, though they ultimately came around to score on a three-run shot by Joe Panik anyway.
The D-backs’ 1-0 lead had been quickly erased. And that was all San Francisco would need.
Jeff Samardzija took care of the rest, coasting through eight innings before letting the bullpen finish the job in the ninth. With the loss, Arizona sits three games back of the Dodgers and the Giants, not to mention a game and a half back of the Rockies. Perhaps more concerning is the fact that the D-backs fell to 5-14 at home this season.
– Miller really was looking pretty solid through the first five frames. And, as Chip Hale reiterated in his postgame press conference, Arizona expects to win most nights when the pitcher only allows three runs.
– Miller’s RBI triple in the fifth was the first triple of his MLB career.
– Jean Segura remained red-hot, picking up a single in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, and his streak of reaching base safely to 20 games. He now has 54 hits this year.
– Jake Barrett, Zac Curtis, Randall Delgado and Andrew Chafin only surrendered one combined hit after Miller exited, tossing 3.1 scoreless innings.
-The Diamondbacks have scored just three total runs during the first two games of this series with San Francisco. They scored 22 in their previous three games at Colorado.
-Nick Ahmed picked up a hit in the second inning but squandered an opportunity to potentially do some damage in the seventh. Chris Owings singled to begin the inning, bringing Ahmed — the tying run — to the plate with no outs. Rather than work the count, Ahmed grounded into a double-play on the first pitch.
STAT OF THE GAME
5: The number of double plays that Arizona turned against the Giants. Miller essentially got out of the second, third and fourth innings this way.
HE SAID IT
“He was just upset about the homerun. So I told him, I said ‘you don’t have to walk off the mound before I get there just because you’re upset.’ But, if you know Shelby and you know the type of character he has, that’s what’s frustrating about it – for him to do something like that… He’s a good kid, you know. You don’t like to see it because, for me, it’s almost like you’re getting shown up. But I understand he’s upset about giving up the homerun.” – Chip Hale, on his exchange with Miller as he pulled the starter from the game
-The D-backs’ last win on a Friday the 13th came on June 13, 2008, against Zack Greinke and the Kansas City Royals. They’ve dropped seven straight such outings since and are 4-13 on the day overall.
These Giants and Diamondbacks will be at it again on Saturday night for the third of four meetings this week. Patrick Corbin takes the mound for Arizona while Jake Peavy gets the nod for San Francisco. First pitch is set for 5:10 p.m. MST, with pregame coverage beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Corbin (1-3) has had an up-and-down 2016 campaign so far, allowing four or more earned runs in three of his starts, while allowing one or less in three others. This will be his eighth outing of the year, and he’s coming off arguably his best performance – 7.0 innings of shutout ball on May 8. The D-backs won that game, but Corbin landed a no-decision.
Meanwhile, Peavy (1-4) endured a rough start to his season. The 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner has been touched up in essentially all seven of his starts to this point, as evidenced by his 8.47 ERA and 1.91 WHIP. Included in that stretch was a matchup with Arizona back on April 18, in which he yielded four earned runs over 5.0 innings as the Diamondbacks secured a 9-7 win.
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