The Diamondbacks are shedding their contender skin in a big way. Coming into the season, the D-Backs had re-tooled with Madison Bumgarner, Starling Marte, and Kole Calhoun, looking like an above average team at the very least. Several of us even picked them to grab a Wild Card spot, which was not an outlandish thing to do a couple months ago.
Instead, Arizona is 16-29, holding the second-worst winning percentage in the National League. Marte was good, but not good enough to drag his fangless teammates into the playoff race, so in a hilarious twist of fate, he was traded to the competing Marlins. Two of the teams best hitters from last year, Ketel Marte and David Peralta, have also disappointed. Marte’s power completely evaporated before a recent injury, which will keep him out of this series against his old club. Peralta, quietly a very solid player for a half decade now, is in love with ground balls. The 33-year-old hits the ball into the dirt over half the time he’s up, which is not a recipe for success in Chase Field’s spacious confines. Bumgarner is down to a 13.7% K-rate, by far the worst mark of his illustrious career, as opponents hit .275 off him. For a nice roundup of everything that’s gone wrong in the desert, check out this FanPost from AZ Snake Pit.
Tonight, as J.P. Crawford is on the bereavement list, Dee Strange-Gordon will man shortstop with Ty France as his keystone partner. Yusei Kikuchi makes his first ever start against the D-Backs, squaring off against Caleb Smith, who Arizona reeled in as part of the Starling Marte deal. This will be Smith’s first start in his new colors. He was one of the many Marlins who tested positive for COVID earlier this summer.
First Pitch: 6:40 p.m. PDT
TV: ROOT Sports Northwest, MLB.tv for out-of-market viewers
Radio: 710 ESPN, MLB app