Diamondbacks Report: Diamondbacks Take Three from Dodgers, Brewers Up Next

Zac Gallen of the Diamondbacks pitching against the Dodgers. Gallen will start against the Brewers Monday night.
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Diamondbacks Report: Diamondbacks Take Three of Four from Dodgers, Face Brewers Next

PHOENIX, Apr. 10 — The Arizona Diamondbacks are riding a three-game winning streak, having taken three of four from their nemesis, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Combined with their 2–2 road split with the Dodgers and 1–1 road split with the San Diego Padres, it gives them a 6–4 record. They are tied with the Padres for first in the NL West as they shift to their next series, a three-gamer at home against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brewers also find themselves in first place, leading the NL Central with a 7–2 record. They have done so by taking two of three on the road against the Chicago Cubs (4–4) before going 5–1 in a homestand. In the homestand, they swept three games from the New York Mets (5–5) and took two of three from the St. Louis Cardinals (3–6). This team will be a test for the Diamondbacks, as the Brewers have some of the top pitchers in the National League, both starters and relievers.

Diamondbacks – Dodgers Series Summary

In Game One against the Dodgers Thursday night, the Diamondbacks fell, 5–2. Dodgers right-hander Dustin May continued his 2023 mastery of the Diamondbacks, allowing one run on two hits while walking two and striking out five over six innings. In his two starts against the Diamondbacks in 2023, he has allowed one run on five hits while walking three and striking out nine in 13 innings. Of the five hits, only two have been for extra bases, and both were doubles. But the Diamondbacks still had their chances in this game. Two failed double play attempts led to a combined three Dodgers runs. The Diamondbacks also had the tying run at the plate in the seventh but couldn’t capitalize.

Game Two saw the Diamondbacks bounce back. Despite giving up six baserunners over the first two innings, Madison Bumgarner gutted out 4 2/3 innings, giving up two earned runs (three total) in spite of allowing five hits (two homers) and walking six. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks kept pace off Clayton Kershaw thanks to speed and taking the extra base. They scored their first run on a double, infield single, and run-scoring groundout in the first. In the third, they scored on a walk, a single to right that advanced the runner first-to-third, and a two-out infield single. Back-to-back homers off Kershaw by Evan Longoria and Corbin Carroll gave them the lead for good. Drey Jameson, Miguel Castro, and Andrew Chafin held the Dodgers at three runs with 4 1/3 innings of scoreless, hitless relief.

Games Three and Four

In Game Three, the Diamondbacks faced “Thor” — Noah Syndergaard — and turned the hammer on him. They pounded out six runs on eight hits, including two homers, in four innings. Diamondbacks right-handed starter Zach Davies struggled in the first, falling behind 4–0, before settling down. Davies ultimately had to leave the game with one out in the fifth due to a left oblique strain. The game turned into a slugfest — out of the nine pitchers between the two teams, only Diamondbacks lefty Kyle Nelson did not give up a run. When the dust settled, the Diamondbacks won, 12–8, in a game that wasn’t as close as the score.

Game Four saw the first quality start from a Diamondbacks pitcher in 2023. Ryne Nelson went six innings, allowing three runs on four hits while walking two and striking out three. Dodgers starter Michael Grove was the opposite, as the Diamondbacks took him to the woodshed — nine runs on 12 hits across 3 1/3 innings. He did not allow any homers but did allow four doubles. The Diamondbacks also frustrated Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes, swiping five bases in five attempts. His frustration boiled into a fifth-inning ejection. Recent Diamondbacks call-up Peter Solomon got hit hard in his first relief appearance, surrendering three runs across two innings to make the game appear closer than it was. Ultimately, the Diamondbacks won, 11–6.

Overall in the series, the Diamondbacks stole eight bases off Dodgers catchers without being caught. Despite a feeble showing in Game One, the Diamondbacks went 48-for-144 in the series (.333) with 14 doubles, three triples, four homers, nine walks, and 31 runs scored.

Pitching Matchups between the Diamondbacks and Brewers

Game One of the Brewers series features Diamondbacks right-hander Zac Gallen against Brewers lefty and former Diamondback Wade Miley. Gallen has started slowly in 2023. In his first outing, he lasted 4 2/3 innings at Dodger Stadium. He allowed five runs, all earned, on six hits while walking three and striking out seven. In his second start, he allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits — two of which were homers — while walking one and fanning three in six innings.

Gallen has faced the Brewers four times in his career, all starts, going 1–3 with a 2.45 ERA, six walks, 29 strikeouts, a hit batter, five homers allowed, and a 1.000 WHIP over 22 innings. Miley did not allow a run in his lone start of 2023, pitching six five-hit frames against the New York Mets while walking none and striking out three. In his two games against the Diamondbacks — a 2016 start and a 2022 start — he has gone 1–0 with a 2.45 ERA, two walks, 14 strikeouts, and a 1.023 WHIP across 14 2/3 innings.

Game Two

Diamondbacks right-hander Merrill Kelly will face Brewers righty Corbin Burnes in Game Two. Neither pitcher is off to his best start in 2023. Kelly has started two games, both against the Dodgers. In this pair of outings, he is 0–1 with a 3.86 ERA, eight walks, eight strikeouts, and a 1.821 WHIP across 9 1/3 innings. Burnes has two starts as well, one against the Cubs and the other against the Mets. He has gone 0–1 in those with a 9.64 ERA, five walks, six strikeouts, and a 1.714 WHIP across 9 1/3 innings.

Kelly has made six appearances against the Brewers, all starts. He has gone 2–1 with a 3.13 ERA, eight walks, 34 strikeouts, three homers allowed, and a 1.018 WHIP across 37 1/3 innings. In Burnes’ three starts against the Diamondbacks, he is 1–0 with a 2.87 ERA, three walks, 23 strikeouts, one homer allowed, and a 0.894 WHIP across 15 2/3 innings.

Game Three

Game Three has Brandon Woodruff going for the Brewers. The Diamondbacks have their starter as “TBD” — they could either use Drey Jameson here or keep the rotation going the way it did the first two times and use Madison Bumgarner. Jameson is 2–0 in 2023 on three relief appearances with a 2.16 ERA, a save, five walks, eight strikeouts, two homers allowed, and a 1.200 WHIP. Bumgarner has made two starts in 2023, both against the Dodgers. He is 0–1 with a 7.27 ERA, ten walks, seven strikeouts, three homers allowed, a hit batter, and a 2.192 WHIP across 8 2/3 innings. Woodruff has made two starts in 2023 and is 1–0 with a 0.79 ERA, three walks, 12 strikeouts, a homer allowed, and a 0.882 WHIP across 11 1/3 innings.

Jameson has never faced the Brewers in his young career. Bumgarner has made 15 career starts against the Brewers, going 7–4 with a 2.66 ERA, 26 walks, 86 strikeouts, eight homers allowed, four hit batters, and a 1.102 WHIP across 98 innings. Woodruff has made six starts and one relief appearance against the Diamondbacks in his career. He has gone 2–1 with a 4.28 ERA, 12 walks, 41 strikeouts, six homers allowed, a hit batter, and a 1.129 WHIP across 33 2/3 innings.

Recent History between the Diamondbacks and Brewers

When the Diamondbacks last made the playoffs in 2017, they went 4–3 against the Brewers. Since then, they went 1–5 in 2018, 2–5 in 2019, 1–6 in 2021, and 4–3 in 2022.

Diamondbacks and Brewers Storylines

Like every other series, there are a few storylines. The first involves the Diamondbacks running game. During recent seasons, Brewers pitchers have not been all that successful in holding runners on. An exception is Miley. In 2022, runners only attempted to steal on him five times and made it safely twice. No one has tried to steal on him yet in 2023. Burnes and Woodruff are different stories. In 2021, runners were 18-for-20 in stolen base attempts against Burnes. They were 5-for-9 in 2022 and are 1-for-1 this season. Runners were 8-for-11 against Woodruff in 2019, 3-for-4 in 2020, 3-for-8 in 2021, 9-for-14 in 2022, and are 0-for-1 this season.

Against Brewers catcher William Contreras, who is new to the team, runners were 36-for-42 in stolen base attempts in 2022. So far in 2023, they have been 2-for-3. Against Victor Caratini, runners were 47-for-57 in stolen base attempts in 2021. In 2022, they were 40-for-55, and so far this season, they are 1-for-2.

The Brewers were 10th of 15 in the National League in batting average in 2022. They were one point above the league average in on-base percentage (.315, 8th) and sixth in slugging (.409). This season, they have started better, slashing .276/.365/.442. This is good for second in average and on-base percentage and fourth in slugging.

Another storyline involves the Diamondbacks starting rotation. Their top two — Gallen and Kelly — have not pitched up to their usual standards so far in 2023. It goes without saying that they are working toward rebounding, starting with this series.

What to Watch For

First and foremost are the Brewers relievers, who have been lights out. Eighteen of their twenty relief appearances so far have been scoreless. For the Diamondbacks to be in the best shape to win, they need to get ahead against the starters. As shown before, however, that will be no easy task. Secondly, the Diamondbacks running game should be a big factor — but only if they get on base. After all, as the adage goes, you can’t steal first.

Game One

The active Diamondbacks have not faced Wade Miley much. Evan Longoria has faced Miley 44 times and has a career OPS of .905, with most of his success coming during or prior to 2017. Ketel Marte has gone 3-for-6 against him with a double. No one else on the active roster has faced him more than three times.

Of all the active Brewers, Christian Yelich has faced Gallen the most — eight times. He has gone 3-for-8 with a double and four strikeouts. Luke Voit has faced him six times (1-for-5 with a walk and a strikeout). Both Victor Caratini (1-for-5) and Willy Adames (0-for-5) have faced Gallen five times. No one else has faced him more than three times.

Game Two

The Brewers mostly do not hit Merrill Kelly well. Exceptions are Willy Adames (5-for-12 with a homer), Luke Voit (2-for-7 with a walk and two homers), and Brian Anderson (2-for-6 with a homer). The Brewer to have faced Kelly the most is Christian Yelich, who is 1-or-14 with three walks and six strikeouts against him.

Two Diamondbacks have faced Burnes seven times — Josh Rojas (1-for-6 with a walk) and Christian Walker (1-for-7). Ketel Marte (2-for-5 with a walk) is the only other Diamondback to face him more than four times.

Game Three

No one on the Brewers has ever faced Drey Jameson. Few Brewers have faced Madison Bumgarner. Five have hit him well: Contreras (3-for-3 with two doubles), Caratini (4-for-7 with a double and six RBI), Anderson (3-for-10 with a double and a homer), Adames (1-for-3 with a double), and Voit (4-for-13 with a double and three RBI). Yelich has faced him 25 times with some success (5-for-22 with four doubles and three walks).

The Diamondbacks have had mixed success against Brandon Woodruff, albeit in limited meetings. Josh Rojas (5-for-12 with a double and a homer) has done well against him, as has Corbin Carroll (2-for-5 with a triple). Ketel Marte (3-for-10 with two doubles and a walk) has also had some success, as have Christian Walker (2-for-8 with two homers) and Geraldo Perdomo (1-for-4 with a walk). Nick Ahmed (2-for-7), Pavin Smith (1-for-8), and Jake McCarthy (0-for-5 with a HBP) have not fared as well.

Outlook for the Diamondbacks and Brewers

Both teams are looking to stay in first, of course. While the Brewers and Diamondbacks are duking it out in Phoenix, the other NL Central teams are playing games out of the division. The Chicago Cubs are hosting the Seattle Mariners, while the Cincinnati Reds are visiting the Atlanta Braves. In Pittsburgh, the Pirates take on the defending champion Houston Astros, while the St. Louis Cardinals are in Denver to face the Colorado Rockies, who are in the NL West.

Two of the Diamondbacks’ NL West rivals are facing each other — the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, with the Giants playing host. The remaining NL West team — the Padres — is visiting the New York Mets. Every series mentioned here is a three-gamer.

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Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan is the owner and sole contributor of Thompson Talks, a website discussing the Big Four North American Pro Sports as well as soccer. He also is a credentialed member of the Colorado Rockies press corps. His first and biggest love is baseball.

Evan lives in Gilbert, Arizona and loves history, especially of sports. He is the treasurer for the Hemond Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and also is a USSF and AIA soccer referee. He released his first book, Volume I of A Complete History of the Major League Baseball Playoffs, in October of 2021.

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