Tuesday, February 20, 2024

MLB Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks (81-72) at New York Yankees (77-76)

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS NOTES:

IN THE STANDINGS: The D-backs hold the second NL Wild Card spot, 3.0 games back of the Phillies (1st WC spot), and 2.0 games ahead of the Cubs and Marlins, 2.5 ahead of the Reds and 5.0 ahead of the Giants with 9 regular-season games remaining. The D-backs are second in the NL West, 5.0 games ahead of the Giants and 6.0 games over the Padres.

THE WILD STRETCH: Over their last 28 games, since Aug. 21, the D-backs went 14-7 (.667) against postseason contenders, including an 11-3 home record in the stretch – vs. Rangers (2-0), vs. Reds (3-1), @ Dodgers (0-3), vs. Orioles (1-2), Cubs (3-1 @ Wrigley and 3-0 @ Chase Field) and vs. Giants (2-0).

ROSTER MOVES: The D-backs placed RHP Miguel Castro on the Paternity List and recalled RHP Slade Cecconi from Triple-A Reno.

CARROLL BECOMES FIRST ROOKIE EVER: Corbin Carroll (25 HR/50 SB) is the fi rst rookie in baseball history to collect 20+ home runs and 50+ stolen bases.

MORE ON CARROLL: Corbin Carroll is the second MLB player ever to have 25+ home runs and 50+ stolen bases in a season in their age-22 season or younger (also: César Cedeño/HOU (1973 – 25 HR/56 SB). Carroll is also the fourth MLB rookie since 1909 to collect 50+ stolen bases in their age 22 season or younger (also: Hanley Ramírez/2006-FLA (51 SB at age 22), Tim Raines/1981-MON (71 SB at age 21) and Donie Bush/1909-DET (53 SB at age 21). He is the third player in D-backs’ franchise history with 50+ stolen bases in a single season, joining Tony Womack/1999 (72 SB at age 29) and Eric Byrnes/2007 (50 SB at age 31).

WHAT’S COOKIN’: Since Sept. 7, Gabriel Moreno, Corbin Carroll, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Ketel Marte are batting a combined .343 (60-for-175)/.891 OPS with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 5 homers, 27 RBI and 17 walks. Individual player stat lines at home since Sept. 7:

G BA OPS AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB
Moreno …..10 .400 .953 30 12 2 0 0 4 5
Carroll …..12 .340 .790 53 18 1 0 1 5 2
Gurriel Jr. ..12 .333 .842 45 15 3 0 1 8 3
Marte ……12 .319 1.003 47 15 2 1 3 10 7

SERIES SUMMARY: The D-backs have collected 2 consecutive series sweeps (Cubs and Giants) and won 9 of their last 12 series, including 4 of their last 5.

WIN COLUMN: The D-backs 24 wins since Aug. 12 are tied for second most in the Majors with the Brewers, Rays and Orioles, behind the Dodgers (25) and Braves (25)…the D-backs .649 win percentage in the span is tied for fourth in the Majors (also: Orioles), behind the Dodgers (.676; 25-12), Brewers (.667; 24-12), Rays (.667; 24-12) and Orioles (.649; 24-13).

80+ WINS: The D-backs are at 80+ wins in a season for fi rst time since 2019 (85 wins) and have reached the feat for their 13th time in franchise history.

VS. YANKEES: The D-backs are facing off @ Yankee Stadium for the fi rst time since July 30-31, 2019…in the
2-game set, the D-backs split the series 1-1 (W, 4-2
and L, 5-7)…Arizona owns a 6-4 record since 2013.

BATTLIN’ BULLPEN: D-backs’ relievers have not allowed an earned run in 4 straight games (21.0 IP) and in 10 of their last 15 games. The D-backs bullpen, over the last 15 games, boasts a 1.80 ERA (13 ER in 65.0 IP) and 0.95 WHIP…they rank among MLB teams in WHIP (2nd), walks allowed (T-2nd, 18) and ERA (3rd).

10+-HITS & 3-OR-FEWER ALLOWED: The D-backs’ 5 games this season with 10+ hits and 3-or-fewer hits allowed in a game are the second most in the Majors, behind the Dodgers (6)…Arizona has met the feat 4 times at home (April 21 vs. Padres, May 31 vs. Rockies, Aug. 24 vs. Reds and Sept. 20 vs. Giants) and 1 on the road (June 19 @ Brewers).

THE COUNTDOWN TO 2K: The D-backs, at 1,995 regular-season wins, are 5 shy of their 2,000th win in franchise history.

ANSWER-BACKS: The D-backs’ 42 comeback wins are third most in the Majors, behind the Orioles (48), Reds (46)… the D-backs’ 42 comeback wins are tied for fourth most in a season in franchise history (also: 2013)…the franchise record is 48 come-from-behind-wins in 2011.

ONLY US AND THEM: The D-backs are 1 of 2 teams this season (also: Braves, 5) to feature 4+ players with 25+ doubles, 20+ homers, 30+ walks and 70+ RBI: Christian Walker, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Corbin Carroll and Ketel Marte.

STARTING PITCHER – RHP BRANDON PFAADT (FOUGHT) ♦ #32
AT A GLANCE: Entered this season as the D-backs’ No. 4 prospect by The Athletic (No. 38 overall) and MLB Pipeline (No. 59 overall). The D-backs’ 2022 Minor League Pitcher of the Year led the organization in wins, ERA and strikeouts…went 11-7 with a 3.83 ERA (71 ER in 167.0 IP), 218 strikeouts and 1.16 WHIP in 29 starts at Double-A Amarillo and Triple-A Reno. D-backs’ fi fth-round pick in the 2020 draft out of ellarmine University (2018-20), their second-highest pick behind Todd Wellemeyer (4th round, 2000).

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Making his fifth career start against an AL opponent and second on the road…made his Major League debut @ Rangers on May 3.
• In search of his first career road win.
• Recalled on July 22 prior to the game @ Reds.

ROOKIE RANKINGS: Ranks among National League rookie pitchers in starts (8th, 16) and innings pitched (9th, 86.0).

LAST START: Earned his second Major League win on Sept. 15 vs. Cubs (0 ER in 5.1 IP, 6 K). It was Pfaadt’s second career scoreless start…tossed 7.0 scoreless innings on Aug. 18 @ SD (ND; 1 H, 5 K).

VS. YANKEES: Making his fi rst career start against the Yankees. Third youngest (24-342) D-backs starter to face the Yankees, behind Patrick Corbin (23-273) in 2013 and Robbie Ray (24-228) in 2016. Becomes the 12th D-back to start at Yankee Stadium and second youngest D-backs starter to face the Yankees on the road behind Patrick Corbin (23-273) in 2013.

VS. AL EAST: Is making his third career start against the AL East and first on the road. Faced the Rays on June 29 and the Red Sox on May 26. LUCKY NO. 7: This season, Pfaadt has 2 road starts of 7.0 innings with 2 or fewer hits and 1 or fewer runs (Aug. 3 @ Giants and Aug. 18 @ Padres)… is 1 of 3 rookies this season to accomplish the feat (also: Kodai Senga/NYM and Hunter Brown/HOU).

SWEEPING TIME: Limiting hitters to a .159 average (18-for-113) with 38 strikeouts off his
sweeper, including a .128 average (6-for-47) with 15 strikeouts in 7 road starts.

INNING INFO: In 17 games (16 starts), is limiting hitters 6-8 to a .198 average (20-for101)/.255 OBP/.356 SLG and 26 strikeouts.

VS. LEFT AND RIGHT: In his last 5 road starts, righties are batting .193 (11-for-57) with 4 walks and 14 strikeouts, while lefties are hitting .204 (11-for-54) with 3 walks and 12 strikeouts.

HIT IT HERE: Limiting hitters with infi eld hits to a .079 average (8-for-101)/.079 OBP/.089 SLG.

STEE-RIKE!: On Aug. 13, 2023 vs. Padres, Pfaadt set a career high in strikeouts in a start with 8 (previous: 7 on Aug. 3, 2023 @ Giants).

RENO REVIEW: Went 6-2 with a 2.52 ERA (11 ER in 39.1 IP), 0.69 WHIP and 69 strikeouts in 12 starts with Reno this season. In his last start with the Aces on July 16 earned the win @ Las Vegas, tossing 5.2 shutout innings with 8 strikeouts and allowing 6 hits and 2 walks.

NEW YORK YANKEES NOTES:

AT A GLANCE: The Yankees continue their final homestand of the season tonight with the first game of a three-game set vs. Arizona (through Sun.)…are 1-2 on the homestand after losing two-of-three games vs. Toronto this week…after this homestand, will embark on their final road trip of the season, making stops in Toronto (Tues.-Thurs.) and Kansas City (9/29- 10/1). Are 7-4 in their last 11 games (since 9/10). Have posted a Major League-best 15-8 (.652) record since 8/28…are 17-11 in their last 28 games (since 8/23).

FOR STARTERS: Yankees starters have posted a 3.00 ERA (162.0IP, 54ER) in their last 30 games (since 8/20)…have allowed 3ER-or-fewer in 27 of those 30 starts and 2ER-orfewer in 22 of those starts. With RHP Michael King recording 13K and 0BB on Wednesday and RHP Gerrit Cole recording 9K and 0BB on Thursday, Yankees starters have recorded at least 9K with 0BB in back-to-back starts for just the second time in franchise history…Yankees starters also accomplished the feat from 9/7-8/98 at Boston when David Wells recorded 10K and 0BB on 9/7/98 and David Cone recorded 11K and 0BB on 9/8/98.

JAKE RAKES: INF/OF Jake Bauers hit his 12th home run of the season on Thursday with a go-ahead three-run shot in the first inning…his 12HR this year have tied his career high (also 12HR in 2019 with Cleveland).

WHERE’S WALDO: INF/OF Oswaldo Cabrera is batting .306 (11-for-36) with 4R, 2 doubles, 1HR, 3RBI, 5BB and 1SB in his last 10 games (since 9/10).

BATTERS’ EYE: Since the All-Star break, the Yankees lead the Majors with a 9.31 PA/BB ratio and a 4.05 pitches per plate appearance ratio…prior to the All-Star break, ranked 20th in the Majors in PA/BB (11.90) and P/PA (3.86).

TONIGHT’S STARTING PITCHER: RHP LUKE WEAVER (2-5, 6.77 ERA)
RHP Luke Weaver will make his 28th appearance (24th start) of the season and second start with the Yankees in tonight’s series opener vs. Arizona…the 30-year-old will pitch on extended five days’ rest due to Monday’s team off day…made his last start on Saturday at Pittsburgh, recording a no-decision after allowing 3ER in 4.0IP (4H, 2BB, 7K, 1HR)…marked his first appearance as a Yankee…was claimed off waivers by the Yankees from the Seattle Mariners on 9/12 and was added to the active roster prior to Game 2 of the doubleheader on 9/14 at Boston…in 27 combined games (23 starts) with the Cincinnati Reds (21GS), Seattle Mariners (5G/1GS) and Yankees (1GS) this season, is 2-5 with a 6.77 ERA (114.1IP, 145H, 88R/86ER, 39BB, 100K, 27HR)…over parts of eight Major League seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals (2016-18), Arizona Diamondbacks (2019-22), Kansas City Royals (2022), Cincinnati Reds (2023), Seattle Mariners (2023) and Yankees (2023), is 26-41 with a 5.19 ERA (565.0IP, 628H, 351R/326ER, 187BB, 562K, 88HR) in 142 games (104 starts).

LAST TIME OUT: Made his Yankees debut on Saturday at Pittsburgh, recording a no-decision after allowing 3ER in 4.0IP (4H, 2BB, 7K, 1HR)…surrendered a tworun HR to Bryan Reynolds in the first inning and allowed a sac fly to Endy Rodriguez in the third…retired nine of his final 10 batters faced (1 double).

VS. ARIZONA: Has made four career appearances (three starts) vs. the Diamondbacks, going 0-1 with a 5.29 ERA (17.0IP, 10ER). Will mark his second outing vs. Arizona this season…allowed 3ER over 4.0IP on 7/23 vs. Arizona with Cincinnati (8H, 2BB, 1K, 1HR, 1HP).

WELCOME TO NEW YORK: Will make his home debut as a Yankee tonight…will mark his first career appearance at Yankee Stadium.

2023: In 27 combined games (23 starts) with the Cincinnati Reds (21GS), Seattle Mariners (5G/1GS) and Yankees (1GS) this season, is 2-5 with a 6.77 ERA (114.1IP, 145H, 88R/86ER, 39BB, 100K, 27HR). Signed a one-year Major League contract with Cincinnati on 1/13…began the 2023 season on the 15-day injured list with a right elbow flexor strain…made two rehab starts with Triple-A Louisville (9.0IP, 3H, 3ER, 4BB, 9K, 1HR) before being reinstated on 4/20…went 2-4 with a 6.87 ERA (97.0IP, 125H, 76R/74ER, 34BB, 85K, 24HR) in 21 starts with the Reds. Was released by the Reds on 8/18 and signed a Major League contract with the Mariners on 8/22…in five games (one start) with Seattle, went 0-1 with a 6.08 ERA (13.1IP, 16H, 9ER, 3BB, 8K, 2HR)…was designated for assignment by Seattle on 9/10. Was claimed off waivers by the Yankees from the Seattle Mariners on 9/12 and was added to the active roster prior to Game 2 of the doubleheader on 9/14 at Boston.

FOR STARTERS: Has made 23 starts this season with Cincinnati (21GS), Seattle (1GS) and the Yankees (1GS), going 2-5 with a 6.88 ERA (104.2IP, 80ER). Has allowed 3R-or-fewer in five of his last seven starts (since 7/23). Recorded 8K in back-to-back starts to begin the season (4/20 at Pittsburgh and 4/25 vs. Texas – both with Cincinnati).

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