In preparation for the Phillies’ series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, I asked some questions to Tom Lynch, the editor of FanSided’s D’Backs site Venom Strikes.
What is the main cause behind the Diamondbacks’ poor start to the season?
They were once 13 games under .500 so I could probably give you about three pages worth of material about what their issues are.
The biggest culprit is the starting pitching. Patrick Corbin diagnosed with a torn UCL is devastating, but should not have resulted in the catastrophe we have witnessed. In 25 games, only three times has a starting pitcher gone seven innings or longer. Trevor Cahill is now in the bullpen, but when you take his ERA as a starter along with those of Bronson Arroyo and Brandon McCarthy, you get an average of about 7.50.
Allow me to throw one other fact in: The calendar reads April 25th. The Arizona Diamondbacks have exactly one home victory. You can quit laughing now.
Bronson Arroyo looked like he might have been a sneaky good late signing, but that hasn’t been the case so far. Do you see him turning things around?
I loved the Arroyo signing at the time. However, I just wrote a piece publicly flogging myself for my reasoning as to why the D’backs made a wise move.
All most of us saw was a dependable – if not solid – pitcher over the last decade. What I failed to consider was that he turned 37 in February and that perhaps his luck was starting to run out. Even when his back acted up in Spring Training we thought he would be there to answer the bell. He answered all right, but he staggered out of the corner.
I think that it is early enough that we will get to see the Bronson Arroyo the D’backs thought they signed, but the days of him being a lock for 30 starts and 200 innings are gone.
The D’Backs are on a two-game win streak. Is this a sign that things may be turning around, or was it just two wins against a bad team?
It’s how they won that first game that makes you think the team is about to turn it around. They had lost the first two games by a combined score of 14-3 and were headed for a third straight loss, down 5-2 in the ninth inning.
They somehow staged a five-run rally to win 7-5 and then won the following day 5-2. I know it was only against the Cubs, but coming out of Chicago with a two game split after being lifeless for the first 26 innings indicates to me that the worst is over.
With Mark Trumbo on the DL, it appears that Paul Goldschmidt is the only real threat in the lineup. Are there other hitters the Phillies pitchers should fear?
After a rough 2013, Miguel Montero is having a nice bounce back season. He has 13 RBI’s and a slash line of .276/.370/.421. Chris Owings, who will be a leading Rookie of the Year candidate, is hitting over .300. Too bad the Phillies won’t be facing Wade Miley. He is hitting .357 in 14 at-bats.
Prediction for the series?
Until the D’backs prove otherwise, you would have to pick against them in almost every series. Miley (their best pitcher) is not going this weekend. Philly takes two out of three.
Thanks to Tom for taking the time out to answer my questions. Be sure to check out Venom Strikes for all the latest on the Diamondbacks, and follow both Venom Strikes (@VenomStrike) and Tom (@ltj41) on Twitter .
Tags: Philadelphia Phillies