Diamondbacks Report: Drop Three of Four to Phillies; Three with Guardians Next

Christian Walker of the Diamondbacks takes a throw at first. The Diamondbacks are facing the Guardians after dropping three of four to the Phillies.
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Diamondbacks Report: One from Phillies, Guardians Next

PHOENIX, June 16 — The Arizona Diamondbacks (41–28), after losing two one-run games and three total of four against the Philadelphia Phillies (35–34), hold a two-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers (39–30) for the NL West lead and trail the Atlanta Braves (43–26) by two games for the NL’s best record. They conclude their seven-game homestand with a three-game Father’s Day weekend interleague series against the Cleveland Guardians (32–36), who are second in the AL Central. This edition of Diamondbacks Report will briefly review the Phillies series before previewing the key details of the three games with the Guardians.

June 17: Updated to indicate the starting pitcher for the Guardians on Sunday.

Diamondbacks – Phillies Series Summary

Game One saw the Diamondbacks rally from a 5–1 deficit to take a 9–5 lead. The Phillies also staged a valiant comeback, but the Diamondbacks hung on for a thrilling 9–8 victory. During the game, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo was ejected after he came on the field in defense of Corbin Carroll, who was hit by pitches in consecutive at-bats. A few minutes later, Josh Rojas was ejected from the dugout.

In Game Two, the Phillies scored four runs in the first inning off Zach Davies and never looked back en route to a 15–3 blowout victory.

The Diamondbacks rallied in Game Three, tying the game on a three-run Christian Walker homer in the bottom of the eight. But they ultimately succumbed to the Phillies in the tenth inning, 4–3, with a collision on a fly ball leading to their demise. Adding to the frustration was the fact that the Diamondbacks left runners in scoring position in each of the final three innings.

Another early hole came in the fourth game, as the Phillies held a 3–0 advantage heading into the bottom of the third. A leadoff double in the bottom of the third by Jake McCarthy, followed by a Gabriel Moreno single, slashed the deficit to 3–1. Later in the inning, a three-run bomb by Ketel Marte gave the Diamondbacks a 4–3 lead. That dissolved in the very next half-inning, as the Phillies put up a two-spot after a walk, a double, and two singles. Neither team scored again the rest of the game, as the Phillies eked out a 5–4 win.

Diamondbacks and Guardians Storylines

The Diamondbacks took one on the chin in the Phillies series, suffering a blowout and two one-run losses. With the Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants playing each other this weekend, the Diamondbacks have a chance to widen the division lead again. However, despite the Guardians being four games under .500, the Diamondbacks cannot take them too lightly. In addition, with the trade rumors surrounding the Diamondbacks and Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber, this could be a preview of sorts for Diamondbacks fans.

The Guardians, by being in the weak AL Central, are only two and a half games despite their record. Winning this series would get them closer to a winning record and will also get them closer to first place.

In addition to the gameplay storylines, Lovullo’s last major league manager was current Guardians manager Terry Francona, who managed Lovullo on the 1999 Phillies.

Pitching Matchups between the Diamondbacks and Guardians

Game One — Friday, June 16, 6:40 pm Arizona Time

Game One was going to be a matchup between Guardians right-hander Triston McKenzie (0–1, 4.50 ERA, 107 ERA-minus) and Diamondbacks ace right-hander Zac Gallen (7–2, 3.09 ERA, 70 ERA-minus). Interestingly, in both Gallen’s previous appearance against the Guardians and McKenzie’s previous appearance against the Diamondbacks, they faced each other.

However, McKenzie was a late scratch due to discomfort in his right elbow, and he has been replaced by Touki Toussant in a spot-start. Toussant has not made any major league appearances in 2023.

In Gallen’s 14 appearances, all starts with eight as a quality start, he has struck out 93, walked 19, and has a 1.150 WHIP across 84 1/3 innings. On average, he pitches six innings per start and gets about five runs of support per nine innings from his team while he’s in the game. Opponents are batting .242 against him, 10 points lower than the NL average of .252. The following table compares his percentages and his WHIP to the NL average.

WHIP K% BB% HR%
Gallen 1.150 27.0% 5.5% 1.2%
NL Average 1.344 22.4% 8.8% 3.1%
Matchups with Current Rosters

The previous appearance against the Diamondbacks by McKenzie, the original starter, was also his only. The same is true of Gallen and the Guardians. In that August 2, 2022 game, McKenzie lasted six innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits, including a homer, while walking two and striking out seven. He took the loss, as Gallen surrendered three runs on six hits, walking three and hitting one while striking out five across 5 2/3 innings. He missed a quality start by one out but, more importantly, still earned the win in a 6–3 affair.

Toussaint has faced the Diamondbacks once in his career, a 2018 start while with the Atlanta Braves. In that game, where he had no decision, he allowed two runs on two hits, walking five and striking out five in 5 2/3 innings. Only three Diamondbacks on the active roster have ever faced Toussaint. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is 2-for-3 with a double and a strikeout. Nick Ahmed has no official at-bats, walking twice. Longoria also has no official at-bats, walking once.

Seven Guardians on the active roster have faced Gallen. Josh Naylor is 0-for-8 with two strikeouts. Amed Rosario is 1-for-7 with a walk and a strikeout. Josh Bell is 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. Jose Ramirez is 1-for-3 with an RBI. Steven Kwan is 1-for-2 with a double and a walk. Andres Gimenez is 1-for-1 with two walks, while Myles Straw is 0-for-2 with a strikeout.

Game Two — Saturday, June 17, 7:10 pm Arizona Time

Game Two features Guardians righty Shane Bieber (5–3, 3.29 ERA, 78 ERA-minus) and rookie Diamondbacks lefty Tommy Henry (3–1, 4.86 ERA, 110 ERA-minus). Like McKenzie and Gallen, Bieber’s lone appearance against the Diamondbacks came in 2022 against Henry, who was also making his lone appearance against the Guardians. In addition, that game was Henry’s major-league debut.

Bieber’s bag of tricks contains four pitches — four-seamer, slider, cutter, and curveball. In 2023, he has thrown the four-seamer 33% of the time, the slider 29%, the cutter 23%, and the curveball 11%. Henry also features four pitches — a four-seamer, a changeup, a curveball, and a slider. He has thrown the four-seamer 51% of the time, along with 21% for the changeup, 19% for the curveball, and 8% for the slider.

In Bieber’s 14 appearances, all starts with 10 as a quality start, he has struck out 64, walked 23, and has a 1.221 WHIP across 87 2/3 innings. On average, he pitches 6 1/3 innings per start and gets about 3.7 runs of support per nine innings from his team while he’s in the game. Opponents are batting .251 against him, eight points higher than the AL average of .243. The following table compares his percentages and his WHIP to the AL average.

 

WHIP K% BB% HR%
Bieber 1.221 17.6% 6.3% 2.2%
AL Average 1.291 23.0% 8.6% 3.0%
Henry

In Henry’s 10 appearances, nine starts with three as a quality start, he has struck out 33, walked 20, and has a 1.380 WHIP across 50 innings. On average, he pitches slightly more than 5 1/3 innings per start and gets about 7.5 runs of support per nine innings from his team while he’s in the game. Opponents are batting .258 against him, six points higher than the NL average of .252. The following table compares his percentages and his WHIP to the NL average.

WHIP K% BB% HR%
Henry 1.380 15.6% 9.4% 4.3%
NL Average 1.344 22.4% 8.8% 3.1%

 

Matchups with Current Rosters

In the Bieber–Henry showdown on August 3, 2022, Bieber gave up two runs on four hits, including a homer, while walking none and striking out eight across six innings. Henry allowed four runs on four hits, walking three and hitting one while striking out three across five innings. Bieber earned the win and Henry the loss in a game the Guardians won, 7–4.

Seven active Diamondbacks have faced Bieber. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is 4-for-10 with a double, a walk, a strikeout, and a hit-by-pitch. Ketel Marte, Josh Rojas, and Christian Walker are all 0-for-3, Marte with two strikeouts and Walker with one. Jake McCarthy is 1-for-2, while Geraldo Perdomo and Emmanuel Rivera are both 0-for-2.

There are also seven Guardians on the active roster who have faced Henry. Amed Rosario is 1-for-3 with a three-run homer and a strikeout. Steven Kwan is also 1-for-3. Josh Bell is 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. Jose Ramirez is 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout. Myles Straw, Tyler Freeman, and Andres Gimenez are all 0-for-1, Straw with an RBI and a sacrifice fly, Freeman with a walk, and Gimenez with a hit-by-pitch.

Game Three — Father’s Day, Sunday, June 18, 1:10 pm

Game Three will have Guardians rookie right-hander Tanner Bibee (2–2, 3.91 ERA, 93 ERA-minus) square off against Diamondbacks righty Zach Davies (1–2, 5.46 ERA, 123 ERA-minus).

Bibee has four pitches on the menu — four-seamer, slider, changeup, and curveball. In 2023, he has thrown the four-seamer 48% of the time, the slider 29%, the changeup 16%, and the curveball 7%. Davies has six pitches in his repertoire — a four-seamer, a cutter, a sinker, a changeup, a slider, and a curveball. He uses the sinker 39% of the time, along with 28% for the changeup, 14% for the cutter, 12% for the four-seamer, 7% for the curveball, and under 1 % for the slider.

In Bibee’s nine appearances, all starts with three as a quality start, he has struck out 45, walked 14, and has a 1.241 WHIP across 48 1/3 innings. On average, he pitches 5 1/3 innings per start and gets about 2.6 runs of support per nine innings from his team while he’s in the game. Opponents are batting .250 against him, seven points higher than the AL average of .243. The following table compares his percentages and his WHIP to the AL average.

 

WHIP K% BB% HR%
Bibee 1.241 22.2% 6.9% 2.5%
AL Average 1.291 23.0% 8.6% 3.0%
Davies

In Davies’ six appearances, all starts with one as a quality start, he has struck out 26, walked 13, and has a 1.607 WHIP across 28 innings. On average, he pitches slightly more than 4 2/3 innings per start and gets about four runs of support per nine innings from his team while he’s in the game. Opponents are batting .283 against him, 31 points higher than the NL average of .252. The following table compares his percentages and his WHIP to the NL average.

WHIP K% BB% HR%
Davies 1.607 20.5% 10.2% 2.4%
NL Average 1.344 22.4% 8.8% 3.1%

 

Matchups with Current Rosters

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

Davies has faced the Guardians twice, once in 2021 with the Chicago Cubs and once in 2022 with the Diamondbacks. He started both games but took no decision in either one. He has allowed five runs on nine hits, including two homers, walking four and striking out five across 7 1/3 innings.

Reader, take a wild guess how many Guardians on the active roster have faced Davies. Yep! You guessed it. Seven. Josh Bell is 2-for-20 with a double, two RBI, four walks, six strikeouts, and a sacrifice fly. Amed Rosario is 8-for-12 with two doubles, a homer, and three RBI. Josh Naylor is 1-for-5 with a strikeout. Jose Ramirez is 0-for-4. Andres Gimenez is 1-for-3 with a strikeout. Steven Kwan is 0-for-1 with a walk, and Myles Straw is 0-for-1.

Reliever Comparisons

Guardians

The Guardians have seven relievers currently active, due to the pregame spot-start roster move. Among these relievers is closer Emmanuel Clase, one of the elite closers in all of baseball over the past few seasons. (Diamondbacks fans, before you get any bright ideas, no, he will not be available at the trade deadline.)

All pitchers are right-handed unless followed by (L). For reference, the league-wide AL save percentage is 60%.

Long relief
  • Xzavion Curry — 17 GR, 35 1/3 IP, 3 inherited runners (IR)/0 inherited runners scored (IS) (0%), 1.104 WHIP, 16.2 K%, 5.6 BB%, 1.4 HR%.
Middle relief
  • Nick Sandlin — 25 GR, 24 2/3 IP, 21 IR/4 IS (19%), 1.014 WHIP, 25.0 K%, 9.4 BB%, 3.1 HR%.
  • Enyel de los Santos — 28 GR, 26 1/3 IP, 11 IR/1 IS (9%), 1.101 WHIP, 21.7 K%, 11.3 BB%, 1.9 HR%.
  • Sam Hentges (L) — 14 GR, 14 1/3 IP, 11 IR/1 IS (9%), 1.256 WHIP, 23.3 K%, 11.7 BB%, 1.7 HR%.
Set-up
  • Eli Morgan — 25 GR, 28 1/3 IP, 5 IR/0 IS (0%), 1.235 WHIP, 24.8 K%, 6.6 BB%, 2.5 HR%, 1/1 SV/OPP (100%).
  • Trevor Stephan — 31 GR, 30 IP, 4 IR/1 IS (25%), 1.233 WHIP, 26.4 K%, 8.0 BB%, 4.0 HR%, 2/6 SV/OPP (33%).
Closer
  • Emmanuel Clase — 34 GR, 33 1/3 IP, 1 IR/0 IS (0%), 1.110 WHIP, 22.1 K%, 5.9 BB%, 0.7 HR%, 21/26 SV/OPP (81%).
Scoreless Outings

The Guardians relievers on the active roster have pitched a combined 176 games in relief (GR). Of the 176, 128 have been scoreless — 72.7%, seventh in the American League, whose active roster average is 72.2% and overall average is 69.4%. Here is the scoreless percentage (ScOtg%) for each reliever on the active roster, as of the end of play on June 15.

Also included is the percentage when only considering earned runs (ER Only). When only considering earned runs, the Guardians climb to third in the American League (78.4%), whose league-wide percentage becomes 75.3%.

 

Name GR ScOtg ScOtg % ER Only
Cody Morris 2 2 100.0% 100.0%
Eli Morgan 25 17 68.0% 76.0%
Emmanuel Clase 34 25 73.5% 79.4%
Enyel De Los Santos 28 22 78.6% 78.6%
Nick Sandlin 25 17 68.0% 76.0%
Sam Hentges 14 11 78.6% 85.7%
Trevor Stephan 31 25 80.6% 83.9%
Xzavion Curry 17 9 52.9% 64.7%

 

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 — 8 GR, 22 IP, 8 IR/0 IS (0%), 1.364 WHIP, 21.5 K%, 9.7 BB%, 4.3 HR%.
Middle relief
  • Joe Mantiply (L) — 9 GR, 10 2/3 IP, 6 IR/2 IS (33%), 1.031 WHIP, 21.4 K%, 0.0 BB%, 2.4 HR%.
  • Jose Ruiz — 23 GR, 27 1/3 IP, 8 IR/3 IS (38%), 1.427 WHIP, 21.5 K%, 9.9 BB%, 3.3 HR%.
  • Kyle Nelson (L) — 31 GR, 25 2/3 IP, 23 IR/8 IS (35%), 1.325 WHIP, 28.2 K%, 7.3 BB%, 3.6 HR%.
  • Austin Adams — 10 GR, 7 1/3 IP, 8 IR/1 IS (13%), 0.818 WHIP, 34.5 K%, 6.9 BB%, 0.0 HR%.
Back End
  • Scott McGough — 31 GR, 35 1/3 IP, 10 IR/0 IS (0%), 0.849 WHIP, 29.9 K%, 8.8 BB%, 3.7 HR%, 2/5 SV/OPP (40%).
  • Andrew Chafin (L) — 31 GR, 24 1/3 IP, 17 IR/8 IS (47%), 1.356 WHIP, 34.9 K%, 9.4 BB%, 1.9 HR%, 8/10 SV/OPP (80%).
  • Miguel Castro — 31 GR, 28 2/3 IP, 12 IR/4 IS (33%), 1.186 WHIP, 21.0 K%, 9.2 BB%, 2.5 HR%, 7/9 SV/OPP (78%).
Scoreless Outings

The Diamondbacks relievers on the active roster have pitched a combined 175 games in relief (GR). Of the 175, 133 have been scoreless — 76.0%, fourth in the National League, whose active roster average is 72.4% and overall average is 69.1%. Here is the scoreless percentage (ScOtg%) for each reliever on the active roster, as of the end of play on June 15.

Also included is the percentage when only considering earned runs (ER Only). When only considering earned runs, the Diamondbacks move upward to third in the National League (78.3%), whose league-wide percentage becomes 74.5%.

 

Name GR ScOtg ScOtg % ER Only
Andrew Chafin 31 27 87.1% 87.1%
Austin Adams 10 9 90.0% 90.0%
Drey Jameson 8 3 37.5% 37.5%
Joe Mantiply 9 6 66.7% 66.7%
Jose Ruiz 23 17 73.9% 73.9%
Kyle Nelson 31 23 74.2% 80.6%
Miguel Castro 31 25 80.6% 80.6%
Scott McGough 31 22 71.0% 77.4%
Tommy Henry 1 1 100.0% 100.0%

 

Lineup Comparisons

Here is each team’s typical lineup against right-handed starters. These stats are their splits against right-handed pitchers.

wRAA = Weighted Runs Above Average; DRS = Defensive Runs Saved.

* = left-handed hitter; # = switch hitter

Guardians

  POS AVG OBP SLG HR RBI SB wRAA DRS
Steven Kwan * LF .234 .317 .320 2 31 7 -6.3 6
Amed Rosario SS .225 .269 .294 1 12 4 -11.2 -9
Jose Ramirez # 3B .326 .401 .520 6 27 6 11.0 2
Josh Naylor * 1B .309 .354 .488 6 41 2 4.9 -1
Josh Bell # DH .252 .322 .381 4 21 0 -1.2
Andres Gimenez * 2B .207 .260 .317 3 18 6 -9.5 7
Myles Straw CF .219 .309 .294 0 9 9 -6.3 1
Will Brennan * RF .292 .333 .445 4 17 6 2.1 6
Cam Gallagher C .143 .169 .196 0 5 0 -7.5 8

 

Diamondbacks

  POS AVG OBP SLG HR RBI SB wRAA DRS
Pavin Smith * RF .206 .315 .389 6 25 0 -0.7 -4
Ketel Marte # 2B .265 .328 .464 7 23 3 3.2 2
Corbin Carroll * LF .311 .406 .659 12 32 14 19.7 -2
Christian Walker 1B .256 .308 .450 7 26 1 1.1 2
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. DH .271 .317 .548 9 30 0 6.4
Jake McCarthy * CF .216 .263 .284 0 5 6 -5.8 -2
Gabriel Moreno C .236 .284 .245 0 15 1 -7.2 7
Josh Rojas * 3B .242 .294 .320 0 24 6 -6.6 0
Geraldo Perdomo # SS .290 .400 .496 5 28 6 9.2 1

Here is each team’s typical lineup against left-handed starters. The stats are their splits against left-handed pitchers. Since the Guardians will not be starting a lefty this series, we will skip the Diamondbacks lineup for this category.

* = left-handed hitter; # = switch hitter

Guardians

  POS AVG OBP SLG HR RBI SB wRAA DRS
Andres Gimenez * 2B .333 .417 .476 1 2 1 4.5 7
Amed Rosario SS .293 .359 .448 0 5 4 1.7 -9
Jose Ramirez # 3B .205 .250 .449 4 13 0 -3.0 2
Josh Bell # 1B .203 .346 .391 2 10 0 0.5 -1
Josh Naylor * DH .226 .268 .358 2 9 2 -2.0
Gabriel Arias RF .100 .196 .160 1 1 0 -6.6 -2
David Fry C .300 .364 .600 1 3 0 0.8 0
Will Brennan * RF .182 .182 .242 0 2 0 -3.7 6
Myles Straw CF .267 .297 .300 0 2 1 -2.8 1

Recent History between the Diamondbacks and Guardians/Indians

Since the teams are in opposite leagues and are not in corresponding divisions, they have only faced one another a combined 22 times in seven seasons, with the teams tied, 11–11. This includes three seasons out of the past decade — 2014, 2017, and 2022.

In 2014, the Diamondbacks and then-Indians played a four-game home-and-home split — two games in Phoenix, two games in Cleveland. The two games in Cleveland, thanks to a rained-out first game, ended up being a double header. Both two-games series were split, so the teams ended up 2–2 against each other on the year.

In 2017, the two played a three-gamer in Phoenix, which the Diamondbacks swept. They faced off again in 2022, the first season of the “Guardians” name. These three games were in Cleveland, with the Diamondbacks only winning the middle game of the three.

Schedules for the Rest of their Divisions

AL Central Slate for the Weekend

Of the other four AL Central teams, two are playing each other in a four-game series. That series will be in Minneapolis, where the division-leading Minnesota Twins (35–34) will host the fourth-place Detroit Tigers (28–39). The remaining two teams will play three-game series, one home and the other away. In Kansas City, the fifth-place Royals (18–50) will host the Los Angeles Angels (39–32, third in AL West), winners of eight of their last ten. The third-place Chicago White Sox (30–40) will also face an AL West team, heading to the Emerald City for three with the fourth-place Seattle Mariners (33–34).

NL West Slate for the Weekend

The fifth-place Colorado Rockies (29–42) are in the middle of a ten-game road trip. They opened a four-game series Thursday night against the Braves, who won the first game, 8–3. The Rockies are the only NL West team playing a four-game series. Also on the road are the third-place San Francisco Giants (36–32), who — after a Thursday off-day — have a three-game series with their rivals, the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers (39–30). Rounding out the NL West schedule for the weekend are the San Diego Padres, who host the AL East-leading — and major league-leading — Tampa Bay Rays (50–22).

Main Photo:

Embed from Getty Images

Share "Diamondbacks Report: Drop Three of Four to Phillies; Three with Guardians Next" on social media:
More Arizona Diamondbacks News
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.

Order Evan's book at store.bookbaby.com
Follow Evan on Twitter: @evan_m_thompson
Support Evan on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=81411994

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *