One of the strong points for the Arizona Diamondbacks is the pitching aspect. With Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly leading the team, this last series against the Padres was different. The big question right now for the team is, with a hole in the lineup after Madison Bumgarner got moved to assignments, who will step in as the number 3 pitcher?
The Diamondbacks have a great farm system and a few young pitchers that can move up, and the first to get a shot was Tommy Henry. Today was Henry’s pitching debut and he couldn’t have had a better setup, first being able to pitch at home, and second facing the struggling 5-17 Kansas City Royals. Tommy Henry allowed a run in the first inning, another run in the third, and then in the fifth. The final stat line was 4.1 innings pitched, three runs allowed, four walks, and four hits not exactly what fans were hoping for against the struggling Kansas City but a win is a win. Torrey Luvello’s thoughts on Henry’s play “Tommy I thought was just okay he was grinding it out through into that 5th inning.” Later in the postgame “I thought early on he had some nervous energy after Strom talked to him he threw I think 22 out of 30 strikes and got right back into the game.”
One of the Achilles’ heels so far for the Dbacks pitchers has been their ability to walk players. Merrill Kelly is in second place for most walks with 17 on the season. Entering today’s game Arizona had allowed 103 walks which are first in the National League and third in MLB. Number 1 of course is the Oakland A’s and you never want to be on the same list as the A’s. Today was no different with Henry walking four players, and Chafin walking one player. The walks are becoming an apparent problem that hopefully Torrey Luvello can sort out this situation soon enough.
The Diamondbacks have had sole possession of the first place for the longest amount of time of any season since 2019. This year has been a special beginning of the year but after falling 1-3 to the Padres the Dodgers have started to come to deplete the lead. This morning the Dodgers were tied with Arizona but after today’s win, they went up by half a game again. This 3 game Royals series is a very important series for Arizona to win as they do not have the luxury of losing to teams they shouldn’t lose to.