Probable Pitching Matchups
Ryan Dempster vs. Barry Enright
Maybe being on the road will get Dempster back on track. He is 0-2 with a 7.91 ERA in three starts at Wrigley and 1-0 with a 7.15 ERA in two games on the road. He lost to the D-backs on April 6, giving up 10 hits over seven innings. Enright struggled to finish off innings against the Mets in his last start. All five of the runs he allowed came with two outs. Enright had trouble locating his breaking stuff early, and was missing his spots throughout the 5 2/3-inning stint.
Carlos Zambrano vs. Armando Galarraga
Zambrano’s winning streak ended in his last start against the Dodgers. He had gone 10-0 since last Aug. 14, but was rocked for five runs in the first. He is 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA in six games vs. the D-backs. Galarraga struggled with his location against the Mets in his last outing on Sunday and paid the price, allowing six runs and lasting just three innings. Four of the runs were unearned due to an error behind him.
Matt Garza vs. Ian Kennedy
Garza is still looking for that elusive first win with the Cubs. In his last start against the Rockies, he gave up five runs — one earned — on three hits over six innings. For the season, he’s struck out 41 over 30 2/3 innings. Kennedy pitched the game of his life in his last start, striking out 10 in a complete-game shutout of the Phillies. He commanded all of his pitches, especially his curveball.
Casey Coleman vs. Daniel Hudson
Coleman, whose previous start was rained out, was roughed up in his last start on April 22, giving up six runs on six hits over 2 2/3 innings. All of the hits and runs came in the third inning. He threw 90 pitches, including 51 in the third alone. Hudson gave up at least one run in the first inning for the fifth time this season but showed poise in his last start against the Phillies to earn his first win of the season.
Jeff Summer’s Scouting Report on the Diamondbacks
All that was needed was a big helping of home cooking. After a rough road trip in New York against the Mets the Arizona Diamondbacks returned to Chase Field to face a tough Philadelphia Phillies squad. Arizona took the first two games from the defending NL East champions beating Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt in consecutive nights.
With the conclusion of the Phillies series the Diamondbacks welcome the Chicago Cubs for a four game series in the Cubs only visit to Chase Field this season. The Diamondbacks will continue to look for more consistent starting pitching. Going into the Cubs series the Diamondbacks starters have an atrocious 5.85 ERA. The only consolation is that the Cubs have a worse ERA at 6.06.
Who’s Hot – Infielder Ryan Roberts continues his hot month and hopes to build on the success he has had. With the injury to third baseman Melvin Mora, Roberts has been a pleasant surprise. Second baseman Kelly Johnson is rebounding after a slow start and is becoming more of a base stealing threat after swiping two Tuesday night against the Phillies.
Who’s Not – Center fielder Chris Young continues to struggle at the plate. He seems to be pressing especially against breaking balls. Manager Kirk Gibson is standing behind first Baseman Juan Miranda giving him every opportunity to show he deserves to be starting.
Interesting News/Notes – Closer J.J. Putz wife gave birth to their fourth child on Tuesday one day after starter Ian Kennedy’s wife gave birth to their first child (also a girl). These two births mark the fourth and fifth babies born to Diamondbacks players since Spring Training began.
Prediction For the Series – The Diamondbacks bats are beginning to heat up with the Phoenix temperatures. Given the Cubs pitching struggles of late the Diamondbacks have an opportunity to steal a rare four-game series but given both teams inconsistent play I’m expecting a 2-2 split.
Joe’s Prediction for the Series
I’m expecting Ryan Dempster to bounce back at some point and something tells me it’s tonight. I’m expecting a 7+ inning outing from Demp with under 2 runs allowed and a game one win. I think the Zambrano / Galarraga matchup is a winable one as well. The last two games are a crap shoot. Like Jeff, I think it will probably be a series split, but it’s doable to win the series if we can get the first two.