Phillies Series Preview: vs Arizona Diamondbacks

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The Philadelphia Phillies host the Arizona Diamondbacks of the NL West in a four game wraparound weekend series at Citizens Bank Park.

There appears to be no righting the fast-sinking ship that is this Philadelphia Phillies team. The once-promising 2016 campaign sprung a leak, began taking on water, listing, and is now in full-scale Titanic mode.

Right now the only questions appear to be how far they will sink – straight to the MLB bottom once again?

The Arizona Diamondbacks, who come to Citizens Bank Park for a four-game weekend wraparound series beginning tonight and ending on Monday are actually even worse off than the Fightin’ Phils, at least as far as their win-loss record.

That Dbacks are 29-39 and sit in 4th place in the five-team NL West Division, 12.5 games behind the front-runners. They hold a pair of five game winning streaks, the last ending on May 10th to get them within a game of the .500 mark.

The biggest culprit for Arizona has been their pitching staff, an area that was expected to be a major strength when the season opened.

The Dbacks signed big money free agent Zack Greinke to front the group, traded for Shelby Miller, had talented Patrick Corbin returning fully from injury, and had blossoming prospect Archie Bradley nearly ready to contribute.

But now, two and a half months into the season, the Dbacks find themselves 26th of 30 MLB teams in ERA, 22nd in BAA, and they have allowed the fourth-most walks in the game.

The Phillies are scheduled to see Greinke, Bradley, Corbin, and lefty Robbie Ray in this series. Miller went 1-6 with an ERA of 7.09 before having to be placed on the disabled list.

On offense, 1st baseman Paul Goldschmidt can be a one-man wrecking crew. The 2015 NL MVP runner-up, ‘Goldy’ is hitting for a .281/.423/.489 slash line with a dozen homers, 42 RBI, 36 runs scored, and eight stolen bases.

2nd baseman Jean Segura is turning in a fine season after coming over from Milwaukee. He has a .305 average, 34 runs, and seven stolen bases. 3rd baseman Jake Lamb has hit 12 homers, has 40 RBI and 30 runs scored.

The Dbacks have a half-dozen players with six or more homers, including the three mentioned above, as well as catcher Welington Castillo, left fielder Yasmany Tomas, and utility man Brandon Drury. Were it not for some missed time with injuries, right fielder David Peralta would easily be there as well.

You a fan of day baseball, like I am? Well then you will love this series. Friday will be a night game, but the following three will all be played under the glare of the afternoon sun.

This will be yet another series where the Phillies are facing a team with far more firepower than they possess themselves. Arizona under manager Chip Hale is also a team that is not afraid to run. Three players have seven or more steals, and seven have three or more swipes.