Diamondbacks Report: Two-Game Sweep of Nationals; Three with Tigers Next

Christian Walker of the Diamondbacks sliding in against the Tigers. The Diamondbacks take on the Tigers in a three-game weekend series after snagging a pair from the Nationals.
(Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Diamondbacks Report: Two from Nationals, Tigers Next

The Arizona Diamondbacks (37–25), after winning both games played against the Washington Nationals (25–36), hold a game-and-a-half lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers (36–27) for the NL West lead and trail the Atlanta Braves (38–24) by a game for the NL’s best record. After an unscheduled off-day due to a postponement, they will conclude their two-city road trip in Detroit. There they will play a weekend three-game series against the struggling Detroit Tigers (26–34), who as recently as a week ago were second in the AL Central but have since fallen to fourth. This edition of Diamondbacks Report will briefly review the Nationals series before previewing the key details of the three games with the Tigers.

Diamondbacks – Nationals Series Summary

In Game One, the Diamondbacks overcame a first-inning grand slam by former Diamondback Stone Garrett en route to a 10–5 win. Every Diamondback in the game reached base, all but Christian Walker with at least one hit. Incredibly, Pavin Smith had the only Diamondbacks extra-base hit. Smith, Emmanuel Rivera, Josh Rojas, and Gabriel Moreno each had two hits in the game. Smith and Rojas each had three RBI, as well. In addition, the Diamondbacks stole five bases, with Jake McCarthy swiping two.

Game Two saw a sharp pitching performance from Zach Davies, who allowed two runs on five hits with a walk and eight strikeouts across 6 2/3 innings to lead the Diamondbacks to a 6–2 victory. Offensively, Corbin Carroll had a career day, going 4-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, a stolen base, and three runs scored. Rivera went 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI, and a run scored. Evan Longoria added two doubles, while Ketel Marte added one.

Major League Baseball postponed Game Three due to hazardous air quality. The Diamondbacks will play that game — an afternoon game — on Thursday, June 22, at 10:05 am Arizona Time. It will be on what was supposed to be an off-day between their three-gamers in Milwaukee and San Francisco.

Diamondbacks and Tigers Storylines

The Diamondbacks have won eight of their last ten, with the two losses coming to the Braves. They are in a stretch of their schedule against seemingly lesser opponents, so they obviously want to take advantage of this stretch to maintain their division lead. On a side note, the last season the Diamondbacks played a game in Comerica Park, they made the playoffs.

The Tigers have lost six in a row and eight of their last nine. A series victory here would get them back toward the top of the AL Central standings. Currently, every team in the division has a losing record, and the Tigers — despite being eight games under .500 — are only 3.5 games behind the division-leading Minnesota Twins.

Pitching Matchups between the Diamondbacks and Tigers

Game One — Friday, June 9, 3:40 pm Arizona Time, Bally Sports Arizona/Bally Sports Detroit, MLB Network (out of market only)

Game One is a matchup between Tigers right-hander Michael Lorenzen (2–2, 3.21 ERA, 77 ERA-minus) and “The Mainstay,” Diamondbacks righty Merrill Kelly (7–3, 2.80 ERA, 64 ERA-minus). Lorenzen throws a four-pitch mix: fastball, slider, changeup, and sinker. Kelly has six pitches in his arsenal: fastball, changeup, cutter, curveball, sinker, and slider.

In Lorenzen’s nine appearances, all starts with five as a quality start, he has struck out 41, walked 12, and has a 0.994 WHIP across 53 1/3 innings. On average, he pitches around six innings per start and gets about 3.6 runs of support per nine innings from his team while he’s in the game. Opponents are batting .211 against him, 32 points lower than the AL average of .243. The following table compares his percentages and his WHIP to the AL average.

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WHIP K% BB% HR%
Lorenzen 0.994 19.6% 5.7% 2.9%
AL Average 1.288 23.1% 8.6% 3.0%

 

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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 around 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 NL 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 1.341 22.4% 8.9% 3.0%

 

Matchups with Current Rosters

Lorenzen has never faced the Diamondbacks as a starter. He has, however, made eight relief appearances against the Diamondbacks. In those, he is 2–0, allowing one run on three hits with four walks, a hit batsman, ten strikeouts, and a 0.553 WHIP across 12 2/3 innings.

Six Diamondbacks on the active roster have faced Lorenzen. Evan Longoria is 1-for-4 with an RBI. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Ketel Marte are both 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Nick Ahmed is 0-for-2 with a strikeout, while Josh Rojas and Christian Walker are both 0-for-1. On a side note, there is a seventh Diamondback to have faced Lorenzen — the injured Carson Kelly, who is 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI.

Kelly has faced the Tigers once — June 24, 2022, at Chase Field. He allowed four runs on seven hits with a walk, five strikeouts, and a 1.333 WHIP across six innings. The Diamondbacks lost that game, 5–1, with Kelly as the losing pitcher.

Seven active Tigers have faced Kelly. Javier Baez is 3-for-13 with a homer, six RBI, and five strikeouts. Spencer Torkelson is 1-for-3 with a strikeout. Miguel Cabrera, Jake Marisnick, and Jonathan Schoop are each 0-for-3, Cabrera with two strikeouts and Schoop with one. Eric Haase is 1-for-2, while Zach McKinstry is 0-for-1.

Game Two — Saturday, June 10, 10:10 am Arizona Time, Bally Sports Arizona/Bally Sports Detroit, MLB Network (out of market only)

Game Two features left-hander Matthew Boyd (3–4, 5.57 ERA, 134 ERA-minus) and right-handed Diamondbacks rookie Ryne Nelson (2–3, 5.40 ERA, 123 ERA-minus). Boyd features five pitches: fastball, slider, changeup, curveball, and sinker. Nelson throws four: fastball, slider, changeup, and curveball.

In Boyd’s 11 appearances, all starts with one as a quality start, he has struck out 53, walked 22, and has a 1.350 WHIP across 53 1/ innings. On average, he pitches about 4 2/3 innings per start and gets about 3.9 runs of support per nine innings from his team while he’s in the game. Opponents are batting .242 against him, one point lower than the AL average of .243. The following table compares his percentages and his WHIP to the AL average.

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WHIP K% BB% HR%
Boyd 1.350 22.9% 9.5% 3.0%
AL Average 1.288 23.1% 8.6% 3.0%

 

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In Nelson’s 12 appearances, all starts with three as a quality start, he has struck out 37, walked 22, and has a 1.492 WHIP across 61 2/3 innings. On average, he pitches about five innings per start and gets about six runs of support per nine innings from his team while he’s in the game. Opponents are batting .294 against him, 43 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%
Nelson 1.492 13.9% 8.3% 3.0%
NL Average 1.341 22.4% 8.9% 3.0%

 

Matchups with Current Rosters

Boyd has faced the Diamondbacks once — May 10, 2017, at Chase Field. He lasted six innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits with a home run, three walks, and six strikeouts while taking the loss.

Four Diamondbacks on the active roster have faced Boyd. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Nick Ahmed is 1-for-2 with a homer, an RBI, a walk (intentional), and a strikeout. Evan Longoria is 0-for-1 with an RBI, a strikeout, and a sacrifice fly. Ketel Marte is 0-for-1 with a strikeout.

Nelson has neither faced the Tigers nor anyone on their active roster.

Game Three — Sunday, June 11, 8:35 am Arizona Time, Peacock (streaming)

Game Three, on paper, appears to be a mismatch — rookie Tigers lefty Joey Wentz (1–6, 7.49 ERA, 181 ERA-minus) and Diamondbacks ace right-hander Zac Gallen (7–2, 2.75 ERA, 62 ERA-minus). This game will be in Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, the first appearance for the Diamondbacks and fourth for the Tigers (three from 2022).

Wentz has a four-pitch menu: fastball, cutter, curveball, and changeup. Gallen has five pitches in his bag of tricks: fastball, curveball, changeup, slider, and cutter.

In Wentz’s 12 appearances, all starts with none as a quality start, he has struck out 44, walked 22, and has a 1.761 WHIP across 51 2/3 innings. On average, he pitches 4 1/3 innings per start and gets about 3.5 runs of support per nine innings from his team while he’s in the game. Opponents are batting .317 against him, 66 points higher than the AL average of .243. The following table compares his percentages and his WHIP to the AL average.

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WHIP K% BB% HR%
Wentz 1.761 18.3% 9.1% 4.6%
AL Average 1.288 23.1% 8.6% 3.0%

 

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In Gallen’s 13 appearances, all starts with eight as a quality start, he has struck out 88, walked 17, and has a 1.081 WHIP across 78 2/3 innings. On average, he pitches a shade over six innings per start and gets about 5.1 runs of support per nine innings from his team while he’s in the game. Opponents are batting .230 against him, 21 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%
Gallen 1.081 27.9% 5.4% 1.0%
NL Average 1.341 22.4% 8.9% 3.0%

 

Matchups with Current Rosters

This will be each pitcher’s first career appearance against the other team. Wentz has not faced any Diamondbacks on the active roster, either. Two active Tigers have faced Gallen, both from their days in the National League. Javier Baez is 2-for-5 with a double, a homer, four RBI, and two strikeouts, while Zach McKinstry is 0-for-1.

Reliever Comparisons

Tigers

The Tigers have eight relievers currently active. All pitchers are right-handed unless followed by (L). For reference, the league-wide AL save percentage is 61%.

Long relief
  • Tyler Alexander (L) — 16 GR, 27 IP, 11 inherited runners (IR)/2 inherited runners scored (IS) (18%), 1.222 WHIP, 22.8 K%, 1.8 BB%, 5.3 HR%.
Middle relief
  • Jose Cisnero — 25 GR, 22 IP, 16 IR/10 IS (63%), 1.409 WHIP, 20.8 K%, 8.9 BB%, 3.0 HR%.
  • Mason Englert — 20 GR, 35 IP, 15 IR/8 IS (53%), 1.543 WHIP, 15.1 K%, 7.6 BB%, 5.0 HR%.
  • Tyler Holton (L) — 17 GR, 32 IP, 3 IR/2 IS (67%), 0.938 WHIP, 19.2 K%, 7.2 BB%, 2.4 HR%.
  • Chasen Shreve (L) — 24 GR, 23 IP, 9 IR/4 IS (44%), 1.304 WHIP, 24.2 K%, 7.1 BB%, 3.0 HR%.
Set-up
  • Will Vest — 19 GR, 23 IP, 8 IR/2 IS (25%), 1.043 WHIP, 27.5 K%, 8.8 BB%, 0.0 HR%, 0/1 SV/OPP (0%).
  • Jason Foley — 27 GR, 26 1/3 IP, 20 IR/5 IS (25%), 0.987 WHIP, 21.8 K%, 5.0 BB%, 0.0 HR%, 2/3 SV/OPP (67%).
Closer
  • Alex Lange — 26 GR, 25 1/3 IP, 7 IR/0 IS (0%), 1.184 WHIP, 34.0 K%, 13.2 BB%, 0.9 HR%, 10/12 SV/OPP (83%).
Scoreless Outings

The Tigers relievers on the active roster have pitched a combined 180 games in relief (GR). Of the 180, 120 have been scoreless — 66.7%, 14th in the American League, whose active roster average is 72.3% and overall average is 69.3%. Here is the scoreless percentage (ScOtg%) for each reliever on the active roster, as of the end of play on June 8.

Also included is the percentage when only considering earned runs (ER Only). When only considering earned runs, the Tigers remain in 14th, although their percentage increases to 70.0%. Also of note is their active roster’s IS%, which is 38.3%. This is third-highest in the American League, whose active roster average is 31.5%.

 

Name GR ScOtg ScOtg % ER Only
Alex Lange 26 21 80.8% 80.8%
Chasen Shreve 24 15 62.5% 66.7%
Garrett Hill 5 0 0.0% 20.0%
Jason Foley 27 22 81.5% 85.2%
Jose Cisnero 25 17 68.0% 76.0%
Mason Englert 20 11 55.0% 60.0%
Reese Olson 1 0 0.0% 0.0%
Tyler Alexander 16 8 50.0% 50.0%
Tyler Holton 17 11 64.7% 64.7%
Will Vest 19 15 78.9% 78.9%

 

Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks have eight relievers currently active. All pitchers are right-handed unless followed by (L). Drey Jameson’s stats are only from relief appearances. Jose Ruiz’s stats are from his time with the Diamondbacks only and exclude his time with the Chicago White Sox. For reference, the league-wide NL save percentage is 64%.

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 — 24 GR, 27 1/3 IP, 10 IR/4 IS (40%), 1.171 WHIP, 21.4 K%, 7.1 BB%, 1.8 HR%.
  • Jose Ruiz — 21 GR, 24 IP, 7 IR/3 IS (43%), 1.333 WHIP, 21.7 K%, 8.5 BB%, 2.8 HR%.
  • Kyle Nelson (L) — 27 GR, 23 IP, 21 IR/8 IS (38%), 1.348 WHIP, 29.3 K%, 7.1 BB%, 4.0 HR%.
  • Austin Adams — 7 GR, 4 2/3 IP, 3 IR/0 IS (0%), 0.643 WHIP, 35.3 K%, 5.9 BB%, 0.0 HR%.
Back End
  • Scott McGough — 29 GR, 32 2/3 IP, 8 IR/0 IS (0%), 0.888 WHIP, 29.9 K%, 9.5 BB%, 3.9 HR%, 1/4 SV/OPP (25%).
  • Andrew Chafin (L) — 28 GR, 22 1/3 IP, 16 IR/8 IS (50%), 1.343 WHIP, 36.1 K%, 8.3 BB%, 2.1 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 170 games in relief (GR). Of the 170, 129 have been scoreless — 75.9%, fourth in the National League, whose active roster average is 72.6% and overall average is 69.6%. Here is the scoreless percentage (ScOtg%) for each reliever on the active roster, as of the end of play on June 8.

Also included is the percentage when only considering earned runs (ER Only). When only considering earned runs, the Diamondbacks remain in fourth (78.8%). Also of note is their active roster’s IS%, which is 32.9%. This is fourth-highest in the National League, whose active roster average is 27.7%.

 

Name GR ScOtg ScOtg % ER Only
Andrew Chafin 28 24 85.7% 85.7%
Austin Adams 7 6 85.7% 85.7%
Drey Jameson 5 2 40.0% 40.0%
Jose Ruiz 21 16 76.2% 76.2%
Kevin Ginkel 24 16 66.7% 75.0%
Kyle Nelson 27 19 70.4% 77.8%
Miguel Castro 28 24 85.7% 85.7%
Scott McGough 29 21 72.4% 75.9%
Tommy Henry 1 1 100.0% 100.0%

 

Lineup Comparisons

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Here is each team’s typical lineup against right-handed starters. wRAA = Weighted Runs Above Average; DRS = Defensive Runs Saved. In a change from previous editions of “Diamondbacks Report,” these stats are their splits against right-handed pitchers.

Tigers

  POS AVG OBP SLG HR RBI SB wRAA DRS
Zach McKinstry RF .267 .356 .407 4 10 9 2.8 2
Javier Baez SS .220 .257 .288 1 23 5 -11.6 1
Spencer Torkelson 1B .207 .280 .313 3 19 2 -8.5 -3
Nick Maton 3B .176 .301 .338 6 21 0 -4.4 -3
Eric Haase C .217 .289 .287 1 10 1 -5.9 -2
Akil Baddoo LF .237 .352 .356 3 16 5 -0.2 2
Miguel Cabrera DH .183 .284 .225 0 3 0 -5.0
Zach Short 2B .222 .317 .333 1 3 1 -0.8 1
Jake Marisnick CF .188 .278 .188 0 1 0 -1.4 1

 

Diamondbacks

  POS AVG OBP SLG HR RBI SB wRAA DRS
Pavin Smith DH .232 .344 .438 6 25 0 2.7
Ketel Marte 2B .263 .318 .449 6 19 3 1.6 1
Corbin Carroll CF .291 .394 .574 9 24 13 13.3 1
Christian Walker 1B .236 .298 .404 6 20 1 -1.8 2
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. LF .296 .344 .599 9 29 0 9.9 2
Josh Rojas 3B .254 .308 .331 0 24 6 -4.5 0
Gabriel Moreno C .228 .279 .238 0 14 1 -7.3 5
Jake McCarthy RF .178 .238 .205 0 4 5 -7.3 3
Geraldo Perdomo SS .271 .386 .483 5 25 5 7.0 1

Here is the typical Diamondbacks lineup against left-handed starters. The stats are their splits against left-handed pitchers. Since the Diamondbacks are only starting right-handed pitchers in this series, we will skip the typical Tigers lineup against left-handed starters. On a side note, the Tigers have not faced a left-handed starter since Martin Perez of the Texas Rangers on May 30.

Diamondbacks

  POS AVG OBP SLG HR RBI SB wRAA DRS
Ketel Marte 2B .315 .390 .548 3 6 3 5.8 1
Emmanuel Rivera 3B .400 .400 .556 1 11 0 3.5 1
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. LF .345 .397 .431 0 6 1 2.5 2
Christian Walker 1B .304 .385 .679 6 16 0 6.3 2
Evan Longoria DH .286 .344 .571 4 9 0 3.5
Corbin Carroll CF .322 .365 .458 2 3 5 2.2 1
Nick Ahmed SS .183 .197 .217 0 5 2 -6.7 -3
Gabriel Moreno C .375 .393 .589 2 9 2 4.8 5
Jake McCarthy RF .200 .310 .400 1 2 7 -0.1 3

Recent History between the Diamondbacks and Tigers

Since the teams are in opposite leagues and are not in corresponding divisions, they have only faced one another a combined 37 times in 11 seasons, with the Diamondbacks leading, 20–17. This includes three seasons out of the past decade — 2014, 2017, and 2022. In 2014, they played three games at Chase Field, with the Tigers winning two. They played four games in 2017, two at each site. At Chase Field, they split, while at Comerica Park, the Diamondbacks won both. In 2022, the Tigers took two of three at Chase Field.

Schedules for the Rest of their Divisions

AL Central Slate for the Weekend

The Tigers are one of three AL Central teams hosting a series over the weekend. All are three-gamers. In Cleveland, the second-place Guardians (29–33) host the Houston Astros (36–27, second in the AL West). The third-place Chicago White Sox (28–36) host the red-hot Miami Marlins (35–28, second in the NL East) — winners of six straight — in an interleague series. Meanwhile, the fifth-place Kansas City Royals (18–44) and first-place Minnesota Twins (31–32) both are on the road to face AL East foes. The Royals are facing the second-place Baltimore Orioles (38–24), while the Twins are taking on the fourth-place Toronto Blue Jays (36–28).

NL West Slate for the Weekend

Like the AL Central, every NL West team is playing a three-game series over the weekend. The fifth-place Colorado Rockies (26–38) are hosting the fourth-place San Diego Padres (29–33) in an intradivision series. In Philadelphia, the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers (36–27) are facing the streaking Phillies (30–32, third in NL East), winners of five straight. The third-place San Francisco Giants (32–30), meanwhile, are hosting the Chicago Cubs (26–36, fourth in the 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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