The Arizona Diamondbacks are off to one of the club’s worst starts in franchise history, starting 2-7 for the first time since 2003.
After having an off-day on April 7, the D’Backs begin a three-game series at the San Francisco Giants on April 8. The Giants have already beaten the D’Backs three times after playing a four-game series last week.
Although the offense has provided plenty of runs, the Diamondbacks need a boost from their pitching staff. The club has a collective 6.15 ERA and Wade Miley is the only pitcher with a crooked number in the win column.
It is early but this is a crucial series for the Diamondbacks. Pitching is going to play a vital role in the club’s attempt to win its first series of the season.
Trevor Cahill vs. Tim Hudson
The first of the three-game series will feature Trevor Cahill and Tim Hudson taking the mound against each other for the second time this season.
It was Cahill’s best start of the season so far. Unfortunately, it was also the same game that the offense was shut out for the first and only time this season. This chart shows the numbers for both pitchers during the April 2 matchup.
Cahill is going to need another strong performance for Arizona to come away with the win. The Giants have scored the fourth-most runs and have the third-best slugging percentage in Major League Baseball.
Plus, Hudson has a career 8-1 record and 1.99 ERA against the Diamondbacks.
Bronson Arroyo vs. Tim Lincecum
Wednesday’s matchup will be more favorable for the Diamondbacks.
Bronson Arroyo has pitched well throughout his career against the Giants, although he lasted just 4.1 innings on April 3 after hitting the 82-pitch mark. He missed most of spring training with a sore back and should have a longer leash for his second start.
Tim Lincecum has not fared well against the current Arizona offense. Most notably, Paul Goldschmidt has hit six homers off Lincecum in 23 career at-bats. The fifth home run can be seen in the video.
This chart shows the success of three Diamondbacks against Lincecum.
For the Diamondbacks, allowing Arroyo to lift his pitch count will be the difference.
Randall Delgado vs. Ryan Vogelsong
The final game of the three-game series also leans in favor of the Diamondbacks.
Randall Delgado has given up just two runs in three career starts against the Giants while holding the current roster to a .193 batting average over 18.2 innings.
Ryan Vogelsong has not had the same success against the Diamondbacks. Only Mark Trumbo and Cliff Pennington have failed to record a hit against Vogelsong in 11 combined at-bats. The rest of the offense has a collective .306 batting average.
Vogelsong’s inability to keep Arizona hitters off base gives Delgado the advantage. It is a good opportunity for the 24-year-old to get his first win of the season.
Given the pitching matchups, the Diamondbacks have an opportunity to win their first series of the season. It is also an opportunity for the rotation to gain some confidence moving forward.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and ESPN.com
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