Diamondbacks Report: Diamondbacks Take Two from Brewers, Marlins Up Next

Diamondbacks Report Brewers Marlins Lourdes Gurriel Jr. pointing to the sky after a single against the Brewers.
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Diamondbacks Report: Diamondbacks Take Two of Three from Brewers, Face Marlins Next

MIAMI, Apr. 14 — The Arizona Diamondbacks are now on their second road trip of the season, heading to play a three-game weekend series against the Miami Marlins and a three-game Monday-Wednesday series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Heading into the Marlins series, the Diamondbacks (8–5) find themselves in first place, one game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers (7–6) in the NL West standings. It comes on the heels of a series victory over the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers (9–4), the second straight series victory for the Diamondbacks in the young season. They still have yet to lose a series, having split their road series with the Dodgers and San Diego Padres during the first week of the season. For this edition of Diamondbacks Report, we will review the Brewers series and preview the clash with the Marlins.

Diamondbacks – Brewers Series Summary

In Game One, Diamondbacks right-hander Zac Gallen tossed seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball, striking out 11 en route to a 3–0 victory. The only inning all night where the Diamondbacks did not face the minimum three came in the second. In the fifth, both Brewers hits were wiped out — the first with a double-play groundout and the second by a failed stolen base attempt. The other two Diamondbacks pitchers — Scott McGough and Andrew Chafin — each tossed a scoreless, hitless inning.

Offensively, the Diamondbacks were led by Nick Ahmed, who went 3-for-4 with a double; Ketel Marte, who went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, and two runs scored; and Christian Walker, who went 1-for-4 with a homer and two RBI.

Games Two and Three

Game Two saw Merrill Kelly go toe-to-toe with Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes. It was a great pitchers’ duel through the first six. Burnes had only given up one hit but faced the minimum due to a double-play groundout. Kelly had walked two while allowing no hits. That all changed in the seventh, when Brewers shortstop Willy Adames led off with a solo home run. Kelly walked the next two before being pulled. In came Miguel Castro, who — in his fourth outing of 2023 — gave up runs for the first time all season, allowing both inherited runners to score while coughing up two runs of his own. It turned into a five-run inning, the first steps toward a 7–1 Brewers victory.

Game Three saw the Diamondbacks rough up Brewers starter Janson Junk, filling in for the injured Brandon Woodruff. They tagged him for five runs (four earned) on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. This included three doubles and a Lourdes Gurriel Jr. home run — his first as a Diamondback. They added two runs off reliever Gus Varland thanks to a two-run homer by Corbin Carroll. The only Diamondbacks pitcher charged with runs was Luis Frias, who gave up three without recording an out.

Story of the Series

The story of this series was execution in big moments. In the first game, Gallen faced a second and third, one out scenario with a one-run lead. He struck out both Luke Voit and Brice Turang to strand the runners and maintain the lead. Both times that a Brewer reached base in the fifth, the Diamondbacks shut them down. Gallen got Voit to ground into a double play, erasing the leadoff single by Garrett Mitchell. When the next hitter — Turang — singled and attempted to steal second, catcher Gabriel Moreno threw him out. In the bottom half of that inning, Christian Walker made sure Ketel Marte’s leadoff walk didn’t go to waste, belting a two-run homer with two outs to give the Diamondbacks a comfortable 3–0 lead.

In Game Two, the Diamondbacks failed to execute in big moments. The lone time they had a runner reach base in the six innings, the next batter grounded into a double play. Conversely, when the Brewers had a big moment come up in the seventh, they pounced. A leadoff homer by Adames cracked the door open against Kelly, who had been tossing a no-hitter up to that point. In the rest of the inning, the Brewers turned the cracked door into a wide-open floodgate, scoring five runs as they sent nine men to the plate.

Game Three

Game Three saw the Diamondbacks do the executing once again. They took advantage of Josh Rojas reaching via catcher’s interference in the first inning, bringing him across with a double and groundout. Gurriel came up with two on and no outs in the third, belting a homer to run the score to 4–0. They took advantage of a Geraldo Perdomo walk and an error by Brewers catcher William Contreras, scoring Perdomo on a groundout and a double to make the score 5–0. Andrew Chafin pitched the Diamondbacks out of a jam, entering the game with the bases loaded, no outs, and the tying run at the plate. He allowed two of the inherited runners to score. However, he kept it from getting worse. He made a falling stretch at first on a double play ball and caught a line-drive comebacker to prevent further damage.

Pitching Matchups between the Diamondbacks and Marlins

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Read what happened in Game One here.

Game Two

Game Two matches Diamondbacks right-hander Ryne Nelson (1–0, 4.91 ERA) with Marlins left-hander Braxton Garrett (0–0, 4.70 ERA). Nelson has never faced the Marlins, nor has he faced anyone on the Marlins’ current roster who played for other teams in 2022. Garrett has never faced the Diamondbacks but has faced one of their current players — Evan Longoria. It happened June 5, 2022, where Longoria — then on the San Francisco Giants — went 1-for-2 with a bloop single to shallow right.

Game Three

Game Three features dueling aces — Diamondbacks right-hander Zac Gallen (1–1, 4.58 ERA) and Marlins right-hander Sandy Alcantara (1–1, 5.79 ERA). Neither has had the best start to the season, with each getting roughed up in two of three starts. However, each has an outstanding game under his belt. Alcantara pitched a three-hit shutout against the Minnesota Twins April 4, walking one and striking out five as his team took the 1–0 victory. Gallen scattered three hits across seven scoreless innings in his most recent start, walking one and striking out 11 in the aforementioned Game One against the Brewers. The two have a connection, both beginning their careers with the Cardinals. They went to the Marlins as two of the four prospects sent in exchange for Marcell Ozuna December 14, 2017.

Gallen has faced the Marlins once, doing so May 2, 2022, in Miami. He allowed two runs on five hits, walking none and striking out five over 6 1/3 innings. The Diamondbacks won, 5–4, with Gallen notching the win. Alcantara has faced the Diamondbacks four times, getting a “no decision” in three and a loss in the fourth. In total, he has allowed 10 runs (eight earned) on 20 hits with nine walks, 19 strikeouts, and four homers over 24 2/3 innings.

Matchups with Current Rosters

Nine current Diamondbacks have faced Alcantara. Longoria, Christian Walker, and Josh Rojas are the three who have done so the most. Longoria has faced him 10 times, going 1-for-8 with a double, three strikeouts, and two hit-by-pitches. Walker has faced him nine times, going 3-for-8 with a solo homer, a walk, and a strikeout. Rojas has faced him eight times, going 1-for-6 with a solo homer, two walks, and two strikeouts.

The other Diamondbacks to face Alcantara are Alek Thomas (1-for-2 with a solo homer and a strikeout), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (2-for-6 with a strikeout), Ketel Marte (1-for-5 with a walk and a strikeout), Nick Ahmed (1-for-6 with an RBI), Pavin Smith (0-for-5 with a walk and a strikeout), and Geraldo Perdomo (0-for-3).

Ten Marlins have faced Gallen. Former Colorado Rockies infielder Garrett Hampson has done so the most, going 0-for-12 with six strikeouts. Jean Segura has faced him seven times, going 3-for-6 with a homer, two RBI, a walk, and a strikeout. Yuli Gurriel is 1-for-6 with an RBI and two strikeouts. Avisail Garcia is 0-for-4 against Gallen with one hit-by-pitch. Garrett Cooper is 1-for-2 with a hit-by-pitch, while Jesus Sanchez is 1-for-3 with a double. The other four Marlins to have faced Gallen are Luis Arraez (0-for-3), Jazz Chisholm Jr. (0-for-3), Jorge Soler (0-for-3), and Jacob Stallings (0-for-2).

Recent History between the Diamondbacks and Marlins

Recent season series between these two teams have been back and forth. In 2017, when the Diamondbacks went 93–69 and won the NL Wild Card, they went 1–3 in the Miami games and 2–1 in the Phoenix games, making for a 3–4 season series defeat. That season, the Marlins finished 77–85.

The 2018 season saw the Diamondbacks dominate the Marlins, winning the season series, 6–1. It included a three-game sweep in Phoenix and winning three of the four games in Miami. In 2019, the Marlins won four of the seven games between the teams — three of four in Miami and one of three in Phoenix. One notable game was the teams’ first meeting in Miami, where Diamondbacks closer Greg Holland blew a one-run save opportunity in the ninth, his fifth blown save of the season. This was his last save situation in a Diamondbacks uniform, as he pitched three more games in a mop-up role before being designated for assignment.

The Last Two Seasons

The teams did not play each other in 2020. In 2021, the teams played three games in Miami and four in Phoenix. The Miami games ran from May 4–6, the Diamondbacks entering the first game with a 15–13 record. This series was the turning point of the Diamondbacks season, as sloppy play led to a three-game sweep by the Marlins. The sweep started a spell where the Diamondbacks lost 35 of their next 40 games. In Phoenix, the Diamondbacks took the first two games of the four-game series before dropping the last two. They did not win two games in a row again until July 6–7. The Diamondbacks finished that season 52–110, while the Marlins finished 67–95. In 2022, the Diamondbacks missed a season sweep by one game, losing the last of their six games.

Diamondbacks and Marlins Storylines

Like every other series, there are a few storylines. The first involves the Diamondbacks maintaining momentum. They are the only remaining National League team that has yet to lose a series in 2023. In addition, this series is the first of two with teams that entered the series with losing records. For a team to have the kind of season it wants, it needs to “beat the teams it’s supposed to beat,” such as teams with lesser records.

A minor storyline involves the meeting of the Gurriel brothers. Lourdes came to the Diamondbacks in the December trade that sent Daulton Varsho to the Blue Jays, with Moreno as the other return piece. Yuli, a member of the four Houston Astros pennant winners from the past six seasons, signed with the Marlins as a free agent this past spring.

Outlook for the Diamondbacks and Marlins

The Marlins (6–7, entering series, 7–7 after Game One) find themselves in third, trailing the Atlanta Braves (10–4) and New York Mets (8–6) in the NL East standings. Coming in off a series on the road against the Philadelphia Phillies, a win in this series would make it two straight series wins and give them some nice momentum into their next series, a three-gamer at home against the San Francisco Giants.

Three of the other NL East teams are on the road. One is the Atlanta Braves, who opened a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals Friday night with a 10–3 win. Another is the New York Mets, who face the Oakland Athletics in a three-game series that started Friday night with a 17–6 victory. The Phillies played the first game of their four-game series with the Cincinnati Reds Thursday night, falling by the score of 6–2, but won the second, 8–3. The other NL East team playing at home this weekend is the Washington Nationals, hosts of a three-game series with the Cleveland Guardians. They opened with a 4–3 defeat.

NL West Slate for the Weekend

Two of the Diamondbacks’ NL West brethren are at home this weekend. The only one to play Thursday night was the Padres, who dropped a 10-inning affair with the Brewers, 4–3. Those two clubs played the second game of their four-game set Friday night, with the Brewers prevailing, 11–2. The other NL West host for this weekend’s slate of games is the Dodgers. They face the Chicago Cubs, who won 8–2 on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants are both on the road. The Rockies are playing the Seattle Mariners, and the Giants are amidst a clash with the Detroit Tigers. Friday night saw the Mariners win, 5–3, and the Tigers win, 7–5, in 11 innings. Every NL West series of the weekend is a three-gamer except for the Padres–Brewers pairing.

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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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