Diamondbacks Report: One of Three from Braves; Three with Nationals Next

Geraldo Perdomo of the Diamondbacks turning a double play. The Diamondbacks face the Nationals after a close three-game series with the Braves.
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Diamondbacks Report: One of Three from Braves, Nationals Next

The Arizona Diamondbacks (35–25), after losing two of three to the Atlanta Braves (35–24), remain tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the NL West and trail the Braves by half a game for the NL’s best record. They will play the first three games of their six-game road trip Tuesday through Thursday against the rebuilding Washington Nationals (25–34), who occupy the NL East basement. This edition of Diamondbacks Report will briefly review the Braves series before previewing the key details of the three games with the Nationals.

Diamondbacks – Braves Series Summary

Game One was a dogfight between the two starting pitchers, Merrill Kelly and Charlie Morton. Kelly prevailed, aided by a two-run double from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and an RBI single by Christian Walker. Eddie Rosario hit two solo home runs for the Braves in defeat. Austin Adams and Miguel Castro pitched a scoreless eight and ninth, respectively, to close out the 3–2 victory.

The big talk of Game Two was Ronald Acuna Jr.’s tape-measure home run to left-center, the longest home run at Chase Field in recent memory. Spencer Strider had an effective start for the Braves, holding the Diamondbacks to two runs. They missed a golden opportunity to get back in the game when they loaded the bases against Strider and reliever Jesse Chavez in the bottom of the seventh. A bases loaded hit-by-pitch suffered by Geraldo Perdomo brought in a run, but two straight called strikeouts by Pavin Smith and Ketel Marte — who chased a 3–1 pitch in the dirt — squandered the chance to make it a closer game. Nick Anderson and Raisel Iglesias blanked the Diamondbacks in the eighth and ninth, respectively, to seal the 5–2 Braves victory.

Zac Gallen left Game Three with a 5–2 lead after six, but a run off Andrew Chafin in the seventh made it 5–3. Scott McGough pitched a scoreless eighth, but Miguel Castro — so effective in recent days — had a nightmarish top of the ninth. Despite his struggles, he got to within an out of a nerve-wracking victory, but an Eddie Rosario grand slam and scoreless ninth from Iglesias gave the Braves a dramatic 8–5 win.

Diamondbacks and Nationals Storylines

The Diamondbacks have won 15 of their last 22 despite having lost two in a row. They have a great opportunity to start another successful run, as their next 13 games are all against teams that are below .500. In addition, they have been tied for first since Thursday, matching the Dodgers with every win and loss over the weekend. This is a favorable matchup for the Diamondbacks, who took two of three from the Nationals when they met in early May.

The Nationals have lost 11 of their last 18 and are ten games out of first, the most of any NL team. They are in a full rebuild, looking for process more than product. A series win here would be a tremendous boost in the development of their young talent.

Pitching Matchups between the Diamondbacks and Nationals

Game One — Tuesday, June 6, 4:05 pm Arizona Time

Game One is a matchup between Nationals right-hander Jake Irvin (1–3, 5.67 ERA, 130 ERA-minus) and Diamondbacks left-hander Tommy Henry (3–1, 3.73 ERA, 85 ERA-minus).

In Irvin’s six appearances, all starts with one as a quality start, he has struck out 22, walked 17, and has a 1.630 WHIP across 27 innings. On average, he pitches 4 2/3 innings per start and gets about 3.1 runs of support per nine innings from his team while he’s in the game. Opponents are batting .262 against him, 11 points higher than the NL average of .251. The following table compares his percentages and his WHIP to the NL average.

WHIP K% BB% HR%
Irvin 1.630 17.7% 13.7% 3.2%
NL Average 1.331 22.4% 8.9% 3.0%

 

In Henry’s eight appearances, seven starts with three as a quality start, he has struck out 25, walked 16, and has a 1.244 WHIP across 41 innings. On average, he pitches 5 2/3 innings per start and gets about 6.8 runs of support per nine innings from his team while he’s in the game. Opponents are batting .233 against him, 18 points lower than the NL average of .251. The following table compares his percentages and his WHIP to the NL average.

WHIP K% BB% HR%
Henry 1.244 15.0% 9.6% 3.6%
NL Average 1.331 22.4% 8.9% 3.0%

 

Matchups with Current Rosters

Irvin, a rookie, has never faced the Diamondbacks or anyone on their active roster.

Henry has faced the Nationals once — May 6, in Phoenix, a “no decision” where he allowed two runs on six hits, walking two and striking out three across six innings. The Diamondbacks ultimately won that game, 8–7, on a walk-off bases-loaded walk by Pavin Smith to score Christian Walker.

Nine Nationals on the active roster have faced Henry. Michael Chavis is 1-for-5 with a homer, an RBI, and a strikeout. Luis Garcia is 2-for-3. Keibert Ruiz, Joey Meneses, and Stone Garrett are each 1-for-3, Meneses with a strikeout and Ruiz with a double and two RBI. Dominic Smith is 0-for-3, and Lane Thomas is 0-for-2 with a walk. Ildemaro Vargas is 1-for-2, while Alex Call is 0-for-1 with a strikeout.

Game Two — Wednesday, June 7, 4:05 pm Arizona Time

Game Two features Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin (4–5, 4.92 ERA, 113 ERA-minus) and Diamondbacks righty Zach Davies (0–1, 5.40 ERA, 124 ERA-minus).

In Corbin’s 12 appearances, all starts with six as a quality start, he has struck out 42, walked 18, and has a 1.478 WHIP across 67 2/3 innings. On average, he pitches around 5 2/3 innings per start and gets about 5.3 runs of support per nine innings from his team while he’s in the game. Opponents are batting .293 against him, 42 points higher than the NL average of .251. The following table compares his percentages and his WHIP to the NL average.

WHIP K% BB% HR%
Corbin 1.478 14.0% 6.0% 3.7%
NL Average 1.331 22.4% 8.9% 3.0%

 

In Davies’ four appearances, all starts with no quality starts, he has struck out 14, walked nine, and has a 1.636 WHIP across 18 1/3 innings. On average, he pitches 4 2/3 innings per start and gets about 4.2 runs of support per nine innings from his team while he’s in the game. Opponents are batting .292 against him, 41 points higher than the NL average of .251. The following table compares his percentages and his WHIP to the NL average.

WHIP K% BB% HR%
Davies 1.636 17.1% 11.0% 2.4%
NL Average 1.331 22.4% 8.9% 3.0%

 

Matchups with Current Rosters

Patrick Corbin has faced the Diamondbacks three times in his career — all starts — and none of them went well, as he is 0–2. In 12 1/3 innings, he allowed 20 runs (19 earned) on 21 hits — including five homers — with eight walks, two hit batsmen, and 13 strikeouts for a 2.351 WHIP.

Seven active Diamondbacks have faced Corbin. Evan Longoria is 3-for-13 with a double and a walk. Ketel Marte is 3-for-6 with two homers and four RBI. Christian Walker is 2-for-5 with a walk and a strikeout. Ahmed is 1-for-3 with a double, three RBI, and two walks. Jake McCarthy has struck out all three times he’s faced Corbin. Geraldo Perdomo is 1-for-2, while Pavin Smith has walked both times he’s faced Corbin, one coming with the bases loaded for an easy RBI.

Zach Davies has faced the Nationals six times, all starts, and has a 4–0 record with a 2.97 ERA. In 36 1/3 innings, he has allowed 12 runs on 34 hits — including two homers — with ten walks, two hit batsmen, and 31 strikeouts for a 1.211 WHIP.

Nine active Nationals have faced Davies. Corey Dickerson is probably running the team meeting, as he has faced Davies 16 times — four times higher than any of his teammates. Dickerson is 4-for-15 with a double, a walk, and three strikeouts. Both CJ Abrams and Jeimer Candelario are 0-for-4, Candelario with a strikeout. Michael Chavis and Ildemaro Vargas are both 1-for-3, Chavis with a strikeout and Vargas with a triple and two RBI. Keibert Ruiz is 1-for-2. Dominic Smith is 0-for-2, while Lane Thomas is 0-for-1 with a walk.

Game Three — Thursday, June 8, 10:05 am Arizona Time

Game Three pits righties Josiah Gray (4–5, 3.09 ERA, 71 ERA-minus) of the Nationals and Merrill Kelly (7–3, 2.80 ERA, 64 ERA-minus) of the Diamondbacks.

In Gray’s 12 appearances, all starts with five as a quality start, he has struck out 55, walked 33, and has a 1.418 WHIP across 67 innings. On average, he pitches 5 2/3 innings per start and gets about 4.9 runs of support per nine innings from his team while he’s in the game. Opponents are batting .245 against him, six points lower than the NL average of .251. The following table compares his percentages and his WHIP to the NL average.

WHIP K% BB% HR%
Gray 1.418 19.0% 11.4% 2.8%
NL Average 1.331 22.4% 8.9% 3.0%

 

In Kelly’s 12 appearances, all starts with seven as a quality start, he has struck out 77, walked 28, and has a 1.075 WHIP across 70 2/3 innings. On average, he pitches a shade under six innings per start and gets about 3.4 runs of support per nine innings from his team while he’s in the game. Opponents are batting .194 against him, 57 points lower than the league average of .251. The following table compares his percentages and his WHIP to the NL average.

WHIP K% BB% HR%
Kelly 1.075 27.6% 10.0% 2.5%
NL Average 1.331 22.4% 8.9% 3.0%

 

Matchups with Current Rosters

Josiah Gray has two appearances, both starts, against the Diamondbacks and is 1–1. Across 10 1/3 innings, he has allowed four runs on 10 hits — including two homers — with four walks and 14 strikeouts for a 1.355 WHIP.

Ten active Diamondbacks have faced Gray. Ketel Marte is 0-for-4 with a walk, a strikeout, and an RBI from a sacrifice fly. Geraldo Perdomo is 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. Christian Walker is 2-for-3 with a double. Corbin Carroll, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Pavin Smith are all 1-for-3, Smith with a strikeout and Carroll with a homer and an RBI.

Merill Kelly is a perfect 3–0 in his appearances (all starts) against the Nationals. He has allowed eight runs on 19 hits — including three homers — with three walks and 20 strikeouts for a 1.158 WHIP.

Ten active Nationals have faced Kelly. Corey Dickerson is 2-for-9 with a strikeout. Dominic Smith is 1-for-8 with a double, a walk, and two strikeouts. Jeimer Candelario is 3-for-6 with a strikeout. Keibert Ruiz is 2-for-6 with a double, an RBI, and three strikeouts. CJ Abrams is 1-for-6 with a strikeout. Luis Garcia is 2-for-3 with a homer and an RBI. Lane Thomas is 1-for-3 with a strikeout. Alex Call and Joey Meneses are 0-for-3, Call with one strikeout and Meneses with two. Michael Chavis is 0-for-2 with a walk. Josh Rojas is 0-for-3 with an RBI and two strikeouts. Gabriel Moreno is 2-for-2. Jake McCarthy is 1-for-2, while Jose Herrera is 0-for-2.

Reliever Comparisons

Nationals

The Nationals have eight relievers currently active. Of note — all are right-handed.

Long relief
  • Thaddeus Ward — 15 GR, 20 2/3 IP, 7 inherited runners (IR)/0 inherited runners scored (IS) (0%), 1.306 WHIP, 23.3 K%, 18.6 BB%, 4.7 HR%.
Middle relief
  • Erasmo Ramirez — 22 GR, 26 1/3 IP, 15 IR/8 IS (53%), 1.481 WHIP, 10.8 K%, 4.2 BB%, 3.3 HR%.
  • Chad Kuhl — 4 GR, 29 1/3 IP, 5 IR/3 IS (60%), 1.705 WHIP, 18.5 K%, 13.3 BB%, 4.4 HR%.
  • Mason Thompson — 23 GR, 30 IP, 10 IR/3 IS (30%), 1.267 WHIP, 18.9 K%, 7.9 BB%, 2.4 HR%.
  • Andres Machado — 14 GR, 17 IP, 8 IR/3 IS (38%), 1.765 WHIP, 15.4 K%, 6.4 BB%, 7.7 HR%.
Set-up
  • Carl Edwards Jr. — 26 GR, 24 2/3 IP, 15 IR/6 IS (40%), 1.500 WHIP, 18.2 K%, 12.7 BB%, 0.9 HR%, 1/3 SV/OPP (33%).
  • Hunter Harvey — 25 GR, 27 IP, 18 IR/8 IS (44%), 1.000 WHIP, 31.4 K%, 8.6 BB%, 2.9 HR%, 3/7 SV/OPP (43%).
Closer
  • Kyle Finnegan — 24 GR, 23 2/3 IP, 5 IR/1 IS (20%), 1.563 WHIP, 24.8 K%, 10.5 BB%, 4.8 HR%, 11/15 SV/OPP (73%).
Scoreless Outings

The Nationals relievers on the active roster have pitched a combined 153 games in relief (GR). Of the 153, 99 have been scoreless — 64.7%, dead last in the National League, whose active roster average is 72.9% and overall average is 69.8%. Here is the scoreless percentage (ScOtg%) for each reliever on the active roster, as of the end of play on Monday, June 5.

Also included is the percentage when only considering earned runs (ER Only). When only considering earned runs, the Nationals remain in last (68.0%). Also of note is the active roster’s IS%, which is 38.6% — highest in the NL.

 

Name GR ScOtg ScOtg % ER Only
Andres Machado 14 7 50.0% 50.0%
Carl Edwards Jr. 26 18 69.2% 73.1%
Chad Kuhl 4 3 75.0% 75.0%
Erasmo Ramirez 22 14 63.6% 68.2%
Hunter Harvey 25 20 80.0% 80.0%
Kyle Finnegan 24 18 75.0% 79.2%
Mason Thompson 23 12 52.2% 60.9%
Thaddeus Ward 15 7 46.7% 46.7%

 

Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks have eight relievers currently active. All pitchers are right-handed unless followed by (L). Jose Ruiz’s stats only include his time with the Diamondbacks and exclude his time with the Chicago White Sox. Drey Jameson’s stats are as a reliever only.

Long relief
  • Drey Jameson — 5 GR, 15 1/3 IP, 7 IR/0 IS (0%), 1.435 WHIP, 23.1 K%, 10.8 BB%, 4.6 HR%.
Middle relief
  • Kevin Ginkel — 23 GR, 26 1/3 IP, 10 IR/4 IS (40%), 1.177 WHIP, 22.0 K%, 7.3 BB%, 1.8 HR%.
  • Jose Ruiz — 20 GR, 22 1/3 IP, 5 IR/3 IS (60%), 1.433 WHIP, 21.8 K%, 8.9 BB%, 3.0 HR%.
  • Kyle Nelson (L) — 26 GR, 22 IP, 21 IR/8 IS (38%), 1.409 WHIP, 29.2 K%, 7.3 BB%, 4.2 HR%.
  • Austin Adams — 6 GR, 4 1/3 IP, 2 IR/0 IS (0%), 0.692 WHIP, 37.5 K%, 6.3 BB%, 0.0 HR%.
Back End
  • Scott McGough — 27 GR, 30 2/3 IP, 8 IR/0 IS (0%), 0.913 WHIP, 29.8 K%, 9.9 BB%, 4.1 HR%, 1/4 SV/OPP (25%).
  • Andrew Chafin (L) — 27 GR, 21 1/3 IP, 16 IR/8 IS (50%), 1.313 WHIP, 35.9 K%, 8.7 BB%, 2.2 HR%, 8/10 SV/OPP (80%).
  • Miguel Castro — 28 GR, 26 IP, 10 IR/4 IS (40%), 1.154 WHIP, 21.5 K%, 9.4 BB%, 1.9 HR%, 6/8 SV/OPP (75%).
Scoreless Outings

The Diamondbacks relievers on the active roster have pitched a combined 163 games in relief (GR). Of the 163, 122 have been scoreless — 74.8%, seventh in the National League, whose active roster average is 72.9% and overall average is 69.8%. Here is the scoreless percentage (ScOtg%) for each reliever on the active roster, as of the end of play on Monday, June 5.

Also included is the percentage when only considering earned runs (ER Only). When only considering earned runs, the Diamondbacks jump to fifth (77.9%). On another note, the Diamondbacks’ active roster has an IS% of 34.2%, fourth-highest in the NL.

 

Name GR ScOtg ScOtg % ER Only
Andrew Chafin 27 23 85.2% 85.2%
Austin Adams 6 5 83.3% 83.3%
Drey Jameson 5 2 40.0% 40.0%
Jose Ruiz 20 15 75.0% 75.0%
Kevin Ginkel 23 15 65.2% 73.9%
Kyle Nelson 26 18 69.2% 76.9%
Miguel Castro 28 24 85.7% 85.7%
Scott McGough 27 19 70.4% 74.1%
Tommy Henry 1 1 100.0% 100.0%

 

Lineup Comparisons

Here is each team’s typical lineup against right-handed starters. wRAA = Weighted Runs Above Average; DRS = Defensive Runs Saved. * = bats left-handed; # = switch hitter.

Nationals

  POS AVG OBP SLG HR RBI SB wRAA DRS
Lane Thomas RF .278 .335 .441 8 27 4 4.0 -4
Luis Garcia* 2B .267 .306 .388 5 25 3 -2.8 0
Jeimer Candelario # 3B .260 .332 .456 7 28 1 4.2 2
Joey Meneses DH .305 .347 .399 2 30 0 2.2
Corey Dickerson* LF .286 .340 .500 2 9 0 1.5 -2
Dominic Smith* 1B .269 .352 .308 1 14 0 -2.8 1
Keibert Ruiz # C .232 .302 .384 7 24 0 -2.5 -4
CJ Abrams* SS .237 .286 .403 6 29 6 -2.9 -2
Alex Call CF .218 .317 .311 3 20 5 -5.7 0

 

Diamondbacks

  POS AVG OBP SLG HR RBI SB wRAA DRS
Pavin Smith* DH .206 .324 .365 5 22 0 -0.9
Ketel Marte # 2B .274 .336 .479 9 25 6 6.4 1
Corbin Carroll* CF .286 .373 .523 10 25 16 12.3 1
Christian Walker 1B .254 .318 .483 12 36 1 4.4 2
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. LF .310 .359 .550 9 35 1 12.4 2
Josh Rojas* 3B .241 .308 .315 0 23 6 -5.8 1
Gabriel Moreno C .282 .319 .369 2 21 3 -2.3 3
Jake McCarthy* RF .187 .267 .264 1 5 10 -6.1 3
Geraldo Perdomo # SS .279 .380 .471 5 26 5 7.0 1

Here is each team’s typical lineup against left-handed starters.

Nationals

  POS AVG OBP SLG HR RBI SB wRAA DRS
Lane Thomas RF .278 .335 .441 8 27 4 4.0 -4
Luis Garcia* 2B .267 .306 .388 5 25 3 -2.8 0
Jeimer Candelario # 3B .260 .332 .456 7 28 1 4.2 2
Joey Meneses DH .305 .347 .399 2 30 0 2.2
Dominic Smith* 1B .269 .352 .308 1 14 0 -2.8 1
Keibert Ruiz # C .232 .302 .384 7 24 0 -2.5 -4
CJ Abrams* SS .237 .286 .403 6 29 6 -2.9 -2
Corey Dickerson* LF .286 .340 .500 2 9 0 1.5 -2
Alex Call CF .218 .317 .311 3 20 5 -5.7 0

 

Diamondbacks

  POS AVG OBP SLG HR RBI SB wRAA DRS
Ketel Marte # 2B .274 .336 .479 9 25 6 6.4 1
Emmanuel Rivera 3B .337 .360 .453 1 11 0 2.6 1
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. LF .310 .359 .550 9 35 1 12.4 2
Christian Walker 1B .254 .318 .483 12 36 1 4.4 2
Evan Longoria DH .216 .260 .505 8 13 0 0.3
Corbin Carroll* CF .286 .373 .523 10 25 16 12.3 1
Nick Ahmed SS .228 .268 .315 1 10 3 -4.7 -3
Gabriel Moreno C .282 .319 .369 2 21 3 -2.3 3
Jake McCarthy* RF .187 .267 .264 1 5 10 -6.1 3

Recent History between the Diamondbacks and Nationals

The Diamondbacks hold a slight edge over the Nationals in their recent series, going 13–11 since the start of 2019, when the Nationals won the World Series. The Nationals won the series in 2021, 4–3. In both ’19 and ‘22, the Diamondbacks took the series, 4–3. So far in 2023, the Diamondbacks lead, 2–1.

Schedules for the Rest of their Divisions

NL East Slate for the Middle of the Week

Every NL East team either has Monday or Thursday off this week. The two teams that played Monday are the second-place Miami Marlins (33–28) and fourth-place Philadelphia Phillies (28–32), both the hosts of an interleague series with an AL Central foe. Both won Monday night, the Marlins doing so 9–3 over the Kansas City Royals (18–42, fifth place) and the Phillies beating the Detroit Tigers (26–32, third place) by a comfortable 8–3 score. The remaining two NL East teams are playing each other from Tuesday to Thursday — the third-place New York Mets (30–30) and the division-leading Atlanta Braves, who will host. Each of these series will last three games.

NL West Slate for the Middle of the Week

The only NL West team to play Monday was the fourth-place San Diego Padres (28–32), who wrapped up a four-game home series with the Chicago Cubs (26–33, fourth in the NL Central). It was a tough series for the Padres, who salvaged a split with a 5–0 victory Monday night. Tuesday, the Padres have the first of a pair of games against their designated AL rival, the Seattle Mariners (29–30, fourth in AL West). The only other NL West team to be at home is the fifth-place Colorado Rockies (26–35), who host the third-place San Francisco Giants (29–30) for three games. Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, the Dodgers open a three-game series with the Reds (27–33, third in NL Central).

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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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