The Diamondbacks opened the season with a series split on the road to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Arizona dropped the first game Thursday, March 30, 8-2 before grabbing a 2-1 win in the second matchup on Friday, March 31. The Diamondbacks would drop the third game 10-1 Saturday, April 1, and then win the fourth and final game of the opening series 2-1 on Sunday, April 2. While it’s understood that the Dodgers are a contending team, those two losses should be concerning for the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers outscored Arizona 18-3 in their two victories over the Diamondbacks. In Arizona’s two wins, they outscored Los Angeles 4-2. There’s a vast difference between each team’s two victories in the opening series.
It doesn’t get any easier either for Arizona as they were scheduled to face the San Diego Padres for two games Monday, April 3, and Tuesday, April 4. The Padres enter the two-game mini-series with a 2-2 record after splitting a four-game series with the Colorado Rockies. One of the Padres’ victories was by an 8-4 score. While it’s early in the season, only putting up four runs in their two victories is something that the Diamondbacks need to take notice of and improve upon. It could simply be early season jitters and facing an elite contending team to open the season. However, with the players that they have, they should be putting up more runs than they have early on so far this season.
Arizona managed just four hits in their first game this season, then seven in their second game, and then five in their third game before putting up nine in their fourth game. While the hits increased, their offense didn’t exactly match the increase. Again, this could simply be chalked up to playing a contender like the Dodgers in their opening series. Their next two games against the Padres and then their opening homestand that’ll see them face the Dodgers. But it’s not just their offense that needs to sharpen things up going forward into the rest of the season. Their pitching is a key factor in limiting the damage by their opponents. With their pitching, Madison Bumgarner has been struggling and is now out of the lineup due to arm fatigue, and with that, he’s now going for testing back in Arizona. Bumgarner gave up five runs in the 10-1 loss before Kevin Ginkel gave up another three runs. Another one of their starting pitchers, Zac Gallen, struggled in the 8-2 loss as he gave up the first five runs. Cole Sulser then gave up another two runs.
Their pitching will need to vastly improve along with their batting if the Diamondbacks want to stand a chance in the loaded National League West. These next six games will be very telling for Arizona as they look to get on the winning track in the hopes of being a contender in their division.