Series in Review: Starting Pitching, Hot Bats Sweep Dodgers

The Arizona Diamondbacks swept the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first time at Chase Field since April 2008.

Tuesday: D-backs Win, 7-6
Wednesday: D-backs Win, 6-4
Thursday: D-backs Win, 8-1

The last time the Diamondbacks swept the Dodgers was at Dodger Stadium in May 2013. The six-game homestand sweep of the Giants and Dodgers is the fifth time that the Diamondbacks have swept a homestand in club history. The last time a homestand sweep happened was June 2003 against the Reds and Astros.

First Inning Bats

The first inning in all three games against the Dodgers set the tone each day.

On Tuesday, the D-backs put up five runs in the first against the Dodgers’ Rich Hill who was coming off nine no-hit innings in Detroit. A.J. Pollock got it started with a two-run home run, then Brandon Drury had a two RBI double and Jake Lamb had an RBI single. 

On Wednesday, Adam Rosales homered, then Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run moonshot to put the Diamondbacks up 3-0 early. 

The first inning magic kept going on Thursday. Gregor Blanco doubled to lead off, then Paul Goldschmidt had a two-RBI double to give the Diamondbacks another early lead.

“We did exactly the things that we’ve done all year long,” manager Torey Lovullo said after Thursday’s game. “I think the very first play offensively of the game really set an incredible tone. It just pepped up the entire dugout and redirected our thoughts as a group saying it’s time to go.”

Gettin’ it Started

The first inning bats backed up the starting rotation the entire series. Zack Godley went six innings allowing four runs on six hits, with five strikeouts on Tuesday.

Robbie Ray went six 2/3 innings on Wednesday. He allowed one run on four hits with ten strikeouts. It was Ray’s seventh game in 2017 with 10+ strikeouts, the most since Randy Johnson had 13 games with 10+ in 2004. Ray also became the third pitcher since 1955 with 10+ strikeouts against a team that was 50-plus games over .500, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Zack Greinke wrapped the series going six innings, allowing one run on four hits with six strikeouts on Thursday.

“When we get a lead early, allows us to play downhill baseball, it’s up to them to shut it down and allow us to build on the lead,” Lovullo said. “Everything is contagious. When the team is playing well, when things are moving in a very positive direction, there’s a ton of energy and the pitchers take it from there.”

Doubles & Triples & Homers, Oh My

The bats were crackin’ for the Diamondbacks against the Dodgers. The D-backs  totaled seven doubles, two triples and seven home runs in the series.

Drury (2)
Goldschmidt (2)
Blanco (2)

Blanco and Goldschmidt both doubled in both of their first two at bats against Dodgers’ pitcher Kenta Maeda on Thursday.

(both on Tuesday)

Pollock (2)
Goldschmidt (2)

Shoot the Arrow

Fernando Rodney now has 13 straight saves. His season total is at 34, fourth most in D-back history, and his 12 in the month of August are a team monthly record. Rodney is five saves away from becoming the 27th player in history to record 300 saves.

Goldschmidt’s 100 Runs

Goldschmidt became the first player in Diamondbacks history to reach four 100 run seasons on Thursday when he touched home on a two-run homer from Pollock.

Next up, the Diamondbacks will head to Colorado for a three-game series against the NL Wild Card contending Rockies. Taijuan Walker will get the start on Friday, Patrick Corbin on Saturday and Zack Godley on Sunday.

For more on the Diamondbacks check out our Diamonds in the Desert Podcast here.