As the weather begins to really heat up in Arizona, so do the Diamondbacks. While some say that they were just taking advantage of weaker competition in the form of the Cincinnati Reds and Miami Marlins, Arizona’s slump seems to be coming to an end. After scoring just 42 runs in their last 18 games prior, the Diamondbacks scored 42 runs in their last six-game home stand.
“We’ve still got a long ways to go” said Diamondbacks skipper, Torey Lovullo, when asked about the team’s latest performance at home. And he’s right, the team does still have a long ways to go since it is only the beginning of June. But it’s really good to see this offense clicking again.
While most of the die-hard Arizona fans are still waiting for the “any time now” moment to happen for Arizona’s slugger, Paul Goldschmidt to come around to his normal self, the Diamondbacks have found offense (and pitching) from some unsung heroes of late.
Lovullo has maintained his attempt at a platoon style catching assignment, but one player in particular has stepped out and above the others offensively. John Ryan Murphy had six hits in 18 at-bats during the four starts at home this past week, including three home runs, four RBI’s, and scored three runs. He batted .333 during the four games, and bumped his average up from .243 to .265.
Another offensive star that seems to be heating up again after cooling down from a hot start to the season is Left Fielder, David Peralta. I’m sure that he’s sad to see the Miami Marlins leaving town as Peralta hit a home run in each of the three games versus Miami, bringing his total to 10 for the season.
On the pitching staff, the Diamondbacks have seemed to turned back the clock on veteran pitcher, Clay Buchholz. In his start against Miami last Friday (6/1), Buchholz threw seven innings, struck out nine batters, scattered six hits, and only walked one batter. In his three starts for the Diamondbacks this season, Clay has thrown 18 innings, and has only allowed a total of three earned runs (record is 1-1), while striking out 14 batters, and allowing 10 hits. Not bad for the Diamondbacks picking up a guy who previously made his last start in April of 2017. Buchholz doesn’t have dominant stuff, but his battery mates have been doing a good job of mixing up his pitches (fastballs, curves, sinkers, cutters, changeups) and he’s spotting them well.
Matt Koch (pronounced Cook) is another Diamondbacks starter that has been giving surprising results after being called up from Reno earlier this year to fill the void left by the injured Taijuan Walker (Tommy John Surgery). Yesterday versus Miami, Koch threw seven shutout innings, struck out six batters, gave up three hits, and allowed no earned runs.
The Diamondbacks finished their six game home stand with a record of 5-1, which put them back into first place, 1.5 games ahead of the Colorado Rockies. They will be going to Colorado after a three game series against the Giants in San Francisco. The Diamondbacks have not lost a series against the Giants this year (2-0). This will only be the second series of the season between Arizona and the Rockies as the Diamondbacks opened the season winning the series against Colorado.
Can the Diamondbacks continue their hot offense and stellar pitching on the road? Only time will tell as the first game between the Giants and Diamondbacks begins tonight on ESPN!
Article by Jeff Demers | Heroes Media Group | June 4th, 2018