On Deck: SnaKKKKKKKKKKes on Fire
Strike outs are up all around baseball this year (8.25 K/9 around MLB so far in 2017, current record is 8.1 in 2016) and the Diamondbacks are a big part of that. This week they set a new Major League record with nine straight games with at least 10 strikeouts and in particular, Robbie Ray (who broke the record Wednesday night) has been impressive with 49 K’s in 36.1 innings. He’s currently tied for the NL lead and ranks behind only Chris Sale in the Majors.
With last Monday off, the DBacks only played three games this week against the hottest team in baseball, the Washington Nationals, and did a great job showing that they are in fact a legitimate contender (at least for the moment). They won game one 6-3, then lost game two by just a run thanks to the hottest individual in baseball, Ryan Zimmerman. Game three was a tough match-up with the recently added Branden Shipley taking over in the rotation for Shelby Miller going against Max Scherzer. Even so, Shipley pitched well given the situation and Randall Delgado threw three scoreless innings in relief, a welcome respite given his early season struggles.
Players of the Week
Chris Owings: 7/22, 3 HR, 3 SB, 3BB
Robbie Ray: 12.2 IP, .196 AVG, 19 K, 3.55 ERA
For the second weekend in a row, the DBacks will be taking on the leaders in the NL West, the Colorado Rockies, this time in Denver. The first game will be Friday night at 5:40 PM as Zach Greinke goes against rookie right hander German Marquez. Marquez beat the DBacks last Sunday in his first career start against AZ, but has struggled in his other appearances over the past two seasons. Things may be different this time around now that they have had a look at him, especially with a second chance coming so soon.
Saturday will be a battle of left handers as Patrick Corbin goes against Tyler Anderson at 5:10 PM at Coors. Corbin pitched the DBacks to their only win against Colorado last weekend while Anderson was rocked in his match-up against Greinke only to be bailed out with a Fernando Rodney blown save.
The finale between the NL West rivals will feature Taijuan Walker, who has been solid this season despite a short start his last time out, and Tyler Chatwood, who has been completely up and down this season. Chatwood has a complete game shut out to his name this year to go along with a 5.40 ERA and four losses. He lost his last start after throwing five no hit innings against the Padres, only to give up five runs while recording just one out in the sixth.
Following the Rockies, the DBacks have another Monday off before coming back home for two with the Tigers. The Tigers have been a similar team to the Diamondbacks this year, as they have had surprising success largely thanks to a potent offense and despite a less than reliable bullpen.
Advanced Stat of the Week
Yasmany Tomas currently ranks 3rd in the NL in average exit velocity at 92.9 MPH