The first four games of the season have been a roller coaster ride for fans so far. Los Angeles outscored Arizona 20-7 over 4 games, including an embarrassing loss of 1-10. At the same time, Arizona has held Los Angeles to 1 run in their first two victories of the 2023 season. The four biggest takeaways from this series are:
Pitching is going to be key this year for Arizona, and the pitch clock will mess with certain pitchers’ heads. Zac Gallen last year was in the top 5 for Cy Young and in the first game of the year gave up 5 runs. What could the reasoning for this be? In 2022 Zac Gallen took approximately 27 seconds per pitch, and this year has to be under 20 seconds. The best always adapt but nothing is immediate. Also, Bumgarner left off where he did last year which isn’t a great place. Madison allowed 5 runs in the first inning of game 3 against the Dodgers, closing the door for Arizona before it could open.
Young players are going to need to step up much more quickly than expected. Speaking of young players welcome to Arizona Kyle Lewis. For casual fans that may not know, Kyle Lewis was the rookie of the year as a Seattle Mariner in 2020. Since 2020 Kyle Lewis has had knee and Achilles problems and his stock fell so low that Arizona traded Varsho the backup catcher for him straight up. During game 2 in the 8th inning, Arizona was down 0-1 when Kyle hit a game-winning 2-run home run.
Speed will kill this year. Corbin Carroll, the fastest player in MLB bunted a ball with 2 outs in the 9th inning today to win the game. Carroll ran as fast as he could to first base where the pitcher got nervous and missed scooping the ball allowing the game-scoring run. Corbin also had a 2 base steal in today’s game that didn’t result in a run but put him in a prime scoring position.
Money buys consistency in the league but not wins. The Dodgers have been at the top of the division year after year because of the money that Arizona does not have. After 4 games, Arizona is tied with Los Angeles and next they will face the Padres in a two-game series. After the two games, they have an off day then face the Dodgers in Arizona. This can be an opportune time for Arizona to get a couple more early wins and stay in the division race longer.
Tomorrow Arizona takes on the Padres at 6:40 PM. Ryne Nelson will make his pitching debut for the 2023 season against Ryan Weathers. This can be a game where the Diamondbacks finally score more than 2 runs and support their young pitcher.