The reigning NL Wildcard winners just took two of three from divisional foes the Rockies, whom they beat in the Wildcard game. What have we learned from Arizona’s first three games?
(I was going to wait until the end of the Dodgers game to write this, but sense no one’s willing to budge and I’m on a deadline, oh well- The stats used are through the first three games of the season)
The D-backs are going to manufacture runs
Chicks dig the long ball. But who cares? The Diamondbacks obviously don’t. In three games against the Rockies, the D-backs scored 18 runs. However, the only home run hit by the home team throughout the series was a three-run shot by Nick Ahmed. That means that the D-backs manufactured an average of five runs per game.
What does this mean? For starters, Arizona is getting on base. Chris Owings and Jeff Mathis are tied for a team leading .667 OBP. Mathis played one game, and walked twice in three plate appearances, while Owings started a game and has two pinch hit at bats. Nick Ahmed and David Peralta lead the everyday starters with .500 OBPs.
Additionally, the snakes are getting the merry-go-round working. Of the 15 runs driven in not via the long ball, three runs have been driven in by way of ground out, six by single, four by double, and a single run thanks to a Jarrod Dyson triple.
However, there were several well hit balls over the course of the weekend that looked destined to find the seats that seemingly died in the outfield. Thanks, humidor. I blame Dan Haren.
Speaking of the humidor…
How well is this thing working? The D-backs scored exactly 16 percent of their runs via the long ball, but the Rockies scored 8.3 percent of their runs from anything BUT the home run. Colorado scored 12 runs over the three games. Let’s take a look at how those runs were scored.
Game 1: Two runs on two solo home runs.
Game 2: Eight runs on two 2-run home runs, a 3-run home run, and a 1-run single.
Game 3: Two runs on two Charlie Blackmon solo shots.
The big knock on this pitching staff last year was their weakness to the long ball. Weren’t they supposed to be better? I suppose that the solo home runs aren’t all that bad if this team is going to average six runs a game. However, the two and three runs dingers are real momentum killers.
The worst part about the long ball is that you can’t defend against it. The D-backs middle infield of Ketel Marte and Nick Ahmed is going to be really fun to watch over the course of this season. Lamb is a solid defender at third. Paul Goldschmidt is a Gold Glover at first. David Peralta is an above average fielder in left, and AJ Pollock is an excellent defender in center. But at the same time, the Rockies had a hard time manufacturing runs because the D-backs defense wouldn’t let them.
Nick Ahmed, what a guy
Remember when Nick Ahmed was a liability at the plate? Yeah, me too. Mr. Mendoza Line is leading the team with a 1.409 OPS and six RBIs, five hits, and two doubles. When the D-backs scored nine runs in the second game? Ahmed drove in five of them. Ahmed is trailing only Justin Smoak, Brian Goodwin, and Bryce Harper for the league lead in RBIs. Ahmed is twelfth in the league in batting average. I won’t say that he’s an early MVP candidate, but…
What’s going on at first base?
Most every position on the Diamondbacks roster is locked down.
Variation may well come at the first base position because first baseman
Paul Goldschmidt is hitless on the season. What a scrub.