Friday, June 2, 2023
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MLB Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks (28-20) at Philadelphia Phillies (22-25)


♦ The D-backs’ 28 wins are the third most in the NL, behind the Dodgers (30) and Braves (29)…the D-backs’ 23 wins vs. NL opponents are second behind the Dodgers (28).

♦ The D-backs are a season-high 8 games above .500 for the first time since the end of the 2019 season ( 85-77).

♦ The D-backs have won 8 of their last 10 games.

♦ The D-backs are second in the NL West (23 days in/tied for first place from April 2-30).

♦ Arizona is seeking its fourth straight series win and seventh in its last 9.

♦ Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is hitting .365 (19-for-52) vs. lefties , the fifth highest in MLB…ranks among Major League leaders in average (6th, .321), slugging pct. (8th, .562) and OPS (9th, .938).

♦ Christian Walker, a Philly-area native, is hitting .326 (15-for-46) vs. lefties, the highest among MLB first basemen …is a career .343 batter (24-for-70) vs. Phillies…has hit safely in each of his last 5 games vs. Phillies with 3 multi-hit performances (.500; 10-for-20, 3 2B, 1 3B, 4 RBI).

♦ Geraldo Perdomo, in his last 12 road games, is hitting .405 (15-for-37)/1.218 OPS with 3 doubles, 3 homers and 10 RBI.

♦ Gabriel Moreno, over his last 13 games, is hitting .326 (15-for-46)/.380 OBP with 2 doubles, 3 RBI and 4 walks.

♦ Corbin Carroll, in his last 11 road games, is hitting .314 (11-for-35)/1.051 OPS with 3 doubles, 2 homers, 9 runs, 6 RBI, 11 walks and 4 stolen bases.

♦ Since May 8, the D-backs bullpen’s 5 saves are tied for second in the NL (also: Cardinals, Reds and Marlins) and 2.77 ERA (15 ER in 48.2 IP) is third, behind the Padres (1.12; 5 ER in 40.1 IP) and Phillies (1.71; 9 ER in 47.1 IP) while their .227 AVG and .301 OBP are tied for sixth lowest and .647 OPS is seventh lowest.

♦ Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is riding a career-high 15-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the Majors and fourth longest this season, behind Mauricio Dubón/HOU (20), Bryson Stott/PHI (17) and Masataka Yoshida/BOS (16)…in the span, he is batting .417 (25-for-60)/1.352 OPS with 6 doubles, 7 homers, 14 RBI and 7 walks.

  • His streak is the longest by a D-back this season and second longest since 2015, behind Ketel Marte’s 16-game hit streak from May 16-June 4, 2022.

♦ Ketel Marte’s 22-game on-base streak (since April 26) is the second-longest active streak in the Majors …is tied for his career-best (also: Aug 2-29, 2019) and tied for eighth-longest by a D-back since 2014.

  • During the streak, is batting .289 (24-for-83)/.380 OBP with 1 double, 1 triple, 4 homers, 13 RBI, 12 walks and 2 HBP.

♦ Has reached base in 15 straight road games , hitting .362 (21-for-58)/1.082 OPS with 1 triple, 5 homers, 11 RBI and 7 walks…is sixth-longest streak by a D-back since 2019.

♦ The D-backs’ .349 OBP in the month of May is the highest in the Majors, ahead of the Rangers (.344), Red Sox (.337) and Rays (.337).

♦ Since May 1, the D-backs’ 10.6 walk pct. is second in the Majors, behind the Padres (11.7)…from the start of season to April 22, the D-backs had a 5.0 walk pct. (MLB low).

♦ The D-backs’ 80 walks in May (19 games) are second in the Majors, behind the Dodgers (83 in 20 G).

AT A GLANCE: Second season with D-backs…made Opening Day roster and rotation…made 3 starts in 2022.

  • D-backs’ second-round pick (56th overall) in the 2019 draft out of the University of Oregon.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The D-backs are 2-0 in his last 2 bids.

  • Has exited 6 of his 9 starts with the lead or tied.

LAST START: Tossed 5.1 scoreless innings with a career-low 1 hit on May 17 @ A’s.

VS. PHILLIES: Making his first career start.

PITCH TRACKING: Opposing batters are hitting .154 (6-39) with 8 strikeouts off his cutter and .154 (2-13) with 3 strikeouts off his changeup.

FIRST PITCH SUCCESS: His first pitch swing (23.2 to 30.2) and first pitch strike (53.6 to 56.3) percentages are up from 2022.

VS. RIGHTIES: In his last 3 games, limiting right-handed hitters to a .207 average (6-for-29) with 1 walk and 11 strikeouts.

  • This season, righties are batting .260 (26-for-100) with 1 walk and 23 strikeouts.

BATTED BALL STATS: His ground ball percentage is up to 44.4 from 25.5 while his fl y ball percentage is down to 25.2. from 44.7.


GAME #47 RECAP: The Phillies fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 6-3, in the first game of a three-game set in South Philly … Starter Zack Wheeler (L, 3-4) went 6.0 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 ER) on 8 hits with 1 walk and 3 strikeouts … Kyle Schwarber and Bryson Stott both homered for the Phils but Arizona hit two of their own, and, despite going 2-for-12 with RISP, held on for the win.

ON THE DOORSTEP OF HISTORY: Right-hander Craig Kimbrel picked up his 399th career save in Sunday’s 2-1 Phils win … Kimbrel is one save away from becoming only the eighth player in the history of Major League Baseball to reach 400 saves … His next appearance will be the 729th of his career – of the seven previous pitchers to reach 400 saves, only three did so in under 800 career appearances: Mariano Rivera (697 G), Trevor Hoffman (706 G) and Kenley Jansen (778 G) … Billy Wagner reached #400 in his 813th career game, John Franco in his 837th, Lee Smith in his 847th and Francisco Rodriguez in his 878th.

TAKE A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE: Craig Kimbrel’s first ever major league appearance came at Citizens Bank Park on 5/7/10 with ATL against the Phillies – the first batter he faced was Jayson Werth, who doubled … Kimbrel would then strike out Raul Ibanez (1st career strikeout) and Carlos Ruiz before getting Wilson Valdez to ground out to end the inning … Kimbrel’s 1st career save came on 9/19/10 at NYM – he struck out the side (Carlos Beltran, David Wright & Chris Carter) … Kimbrel’s 100th career save came on 5/9/13 at SF – through his first 100 career games with a save (not first 100 save opportunities), Kimbrel posted a 0.18 ERA (2 ER, 98.2 IP) with 172 strikeouts to 22 walks – for context, Mariano Rivera posted a 1.00 ERA (12 ER, 107.2 IP) through his first 100 career games with a save with 81 strikeouts to 18 walks … His 200th career save came on 6/8/15 at ATL (with SD) … His 300th career save came on 5/5/18 at TEX (with BOS).

IN COMPANY WITH COOPERSTOWN: One save away from #400, Craig Kimbrel also ranks 11th since at least 1893 with 1,127 strikeouts as a reliever … He trails Hall-of-Famers Trevor Hoffman (1,133) for 10th place and Mariano Rivera (1,135) for 9th place … Kimbrel has faced 2,819 batters in his career and has struck out 1,127 of them (39.98%) … Per Stats LLC, 1,923 pitchers in MLB history have faced at least 2,500 batters in their career – of those 1,923 pitchers, Kimbrel’s 39.98% strikeout rate ranks 2nd – he trails only Aroldis Chapman who has faced 2,673 batters and has struck out 1,074 of them (40.17%) … Over his last 13 appearances (since 4/16) Kimbrel has struck out 25 of the 47 batters he has faced (53.2%) while walking only three (8.5%).

OTHER RECENT MILESTONES BY PHILLIES: With Craig Kimbrel one save away from #400, we thought it would be fitting to look back at other recent milestones achieved by Phillies players: Roy Halladay’s 200th win: 4/14/2013 at MIA and his 2,000th strikeout came on 7/29/12 at ATL (David Ross) … Jim Thome’s 400th career home run: 6/14/2004 vs CIN (Jose Acevado) … Mike Schmidt’s 500th career home run: 4/18/1987 at PIT (Don Robinson) … Steve Carlton’s 300th career win: 9/23/1983 at STL and his 3,000th strikeout came on 4/29/1981 vs MTL (Tim Wallach).

BEDLAM AT THE BANK: Through 22 games at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies are averaging 39,635 in attendance per game which ranks 3rd among all clubs in MLB behind only the Dodgers (47,873) and Cardinals (39,799) … Of Philadelphia’s first 22 games at home, 13 have been sellouts (59%) and 16 have been over 35,000 (73%) … Among all clubs in MLB, the Phillies have the largest year-to-year increase in attendance per game this season at +12,592 (up from 27,043 per game through 22 home games in 2022) … The Toronto Blue Jays rank 2nd behind the Phillies among all clubs in year-to-year attendance growth at +5,791 and the Pittsburgh Pirates rank 2nd among NL teams at +4,684 … The Phils have welcomed 871,968 fans to CBP so far this year – through 22 games last season, the Phillies had 594,942 in attendance (+277,026 in 2023).

STAFF NOTES: Philadelphia’s starting staff has a 4.86 ERA (129 ER, 239.0 IP) which ranks 22nd in MLB and 11th among NL rotations … However, Phils’ starters have a 3.82 FIP which ranks 8th in MLB and 2nd in the NL … Philadelphia’s 1.04 gap between ERA and FIP is the 3rd-largest in MLB this year, behind only OAK (7.33 ERA/6.19 FIP – 1.14 difference) and CIN (6.14 ERA/5.03 FIP – 1.12 difference) … Per Statcast, the Phillies staff has limited opponents to an average 87.9 MPH exit velocity on balls in play which is the 3rd-lowest number of all staffs in MLB … Additionally, they have the 2nd-best expected slugging percentage (xSLG) in the NL at .401 (best: ATL, .398) … Philadelphia’s 5.1 fWAR from the starting rotation leads the NL and ranks 5th in MLB (last year Philadelphia’s rotation led the NL with 17.5 fWAR which ranked 2nd in MLB behind HOU at 19.4).

NINE DAYS UNTIL JUNE: Over his last 13 games (since 5/7), Kyle Schwarber has a .960 OPS (.396 OPP/ .564 SLG) with 13 walks to 17 strikeouts in 53 plate appearances … Schwarber is hitting .179 (7-39) but five of his seven hits have been home runs – Schwarber’s BABIP in this stretch is just .118 … Per Statcast, Schwarber ranks in the 95th percentile in walk rate (16.1 %) and the 90th percentile in average exit velocity (92.4 MPH) this year.

A REAL UNICORN: Since the start of last season (regular and postseason combined), J.T. Realmuto has played a total of 1626.2 innings at catcher (191 G, 187 GS) … That is 276.2 innings (almost 31 full games) clear of HOU’s Martin Maldonado who ranks 2nd in MLB at 1350.0 innings at catcher … Since the second half of last season (since 7/22/22, regular season only), Realmuto has played 101 games and is slashing .295/.344/.532 with an .876 OPS in 404 plate appearances while going 16-for-19 in stolen base attempts has a runner) and throwing out 19 would-be base stealers (as catcher).

RIGHT ON: Slated to face right-handed starters each of the next two games, the Phillies rank 1st in MLB in AVG against RHP (.273) & OBP (.343) and 6th in SLG (.430) & OPS (.773) … Individually, Bryce Harper is slashing .472/.578/.778 in 45 PA against RHP and has five doubles, two home runs and more walks (9) than strikeouts (8) … In total, Harper, Kody Clemens (.898 OPS), J.T. Realmuto (.878), Brandon Marsh (.849), Josh Harrison (.836) and Nick Castellanos (.819) all have an OPS over .800 against RHP this year.

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