The Arizona Diamondbacks have struggled as of late, losing five of their last six games and losing the three game set to the St. Louis Cardinals.
July 2nd – Cardinals Win 6-3
July 3rd – Diamondbacks Win 4-2
July 4th – Cardinals Win 8-4
Here are a few takeaways from the series:
A.J. Pollock is back
After rehabbing a thumb injury for about six weeks, A.J. Pollock made his return to the big league lineup on Monday. Pollock did not get a hit in his two starts of the series, but he was on an MVP contender pace before the injury and brings another element to the lineup. Steven Souza Jr. is also on a rehab assignment and could be back shortly as well.
Steven Souza Jr. goes deep for the second consecutive night!
He's batting .429 with Reno on his rehab assignment. ??
(This is last night's HR) pic.twitter.com/fpf4PnXEpw
— Reno Aces (@Aces) July 4, 2018
But….Jarrod Dyson left the game
When the Diamondbacks thought there may be a logjam in the outfield between Pollock, David Peralta, Jon Jay, Jarrod Dyson, Chris Owings and eventually Steven Souza Jr., a decision may be made for Torey Lovullo instead of by Torey Lovullo. On Wednesday, Dyson left the game with an injury on a play where he potentially tweaked something while trying to make a throw home. He had discomfort in his right groin and will be evaluated on Thursday.
Some Good, Some Bad for Robbie Ray
In his second start since returning from his own disabled list trip, Robbie Ray gave up six runs in five innings. While the box score may look like it was a bad day for Ray, there were stretches where he looked very dominant. He got off to a slow start, giving up four runs in the first inning but quieted the Cardinal bats until he gave up back-to-back home runs from Yadier Molina and Jedd Gyorko. Ray had seven strikeouts on the day and will make his next start on Saturday against the Padres.
Bullpen’s Rare Struggle
The Diamondbacks’ bullpen has been one of the best in baseball and did not give up a run in the first two games of this series. Wednesday was a different story. In Tuesday’s game, Yoshi Hirano came into the game with the bases loaded and two outs. It took him one pitch to get out of that jam, forcing a groundout. His next pitch – on Wednesday – was a home run hit by Yairo Munoz, snapping Hirano’s 26-game scoreless streak.
Diamondbacks RP Yoshihisa Hirano's 26-game scoreless streak ends with a HR to Yairo Muñoz. That was the longest streak of consecutive scoreless outings in @Dbacks franchise history.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 5, 2018
The struggles did not end there. Hirano gave up two more hits and three more runs (none of them earned) and Fernando Salas gave up an additional three earned runs in the span of eight pitches.
The bullpen struggles have been a rarity, but this game was very different when Patrick Corbin left in the seventh with a 2-1 lead.
The Diamondbacks will host the San Diego Padres in a four-game series before heading off to the All-Star Break.