clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2022 Series Preview 2: Houston Astros @ Arizona Diamondbacks

The Astros (3-1, 1st in AL West) head to the desert for two games against the hapless Diamondbacks (1-3, 5th in NL West)

Syndication: Phoenix Rob Schumacher/The Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Narrative

The Arizona Diamondbacks come into the 2022 campaign following two ineffective seasons that culminated in their league-worst 52-110 record last year. Arizona hasn’t really made any other moves that would indicate that they’re looking to improve greatly this season.

Pretty much the biggest news coming out of their camp this offseason was an extension for Ketel Marte. That wasn’t their only move during the Hot Stove season though, as they also picked up Oliver Perez on a Methuselah contract, and former Cub Zach Davies on a make-good one. They also snagged Mark Melancon and Ian Kennedy for bullpen duty, but none of that is likely to move the needle all that much.

Of course, the concern in Arizona is the future more than the present. To that effect, Arizona’s farm system recently jumped from 9th to 4th in the league on MLB Pipeline’s latest ranking. This bodes well for the future at Chase Field, but for the moment it ensures that fans will most likely suffer through at least one more ignominious season, if not several.


The Offense

Other than a couple of outbursts the Diamondbacks’ offense was somewhat anemic during their first series of the year. The Padres starters flirted with no-hitters in several games as the snakes looked rather lackluster at the plate. If it wasn’t for the heroics of former Astros farmhand Seth Beer, who managed to walk off Opening Day’s game, Arizona could easily be winless so far this season.

As it stands, they’ve been outhit 33 to 15 in their first four games and things don’t look to get any easier with their next two series being against the Astros and then the Mets, who are both off to great starts in 2022.

LF David Peralta (.214/.313/.500) has had the best opening to the season of any D-back as he leads the team with 3 hits already, including a double and a homer, and a couple of walks. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the extension-signing Ketel Marte (.133/.188/.200) has gotten off to a bit of a rocky start with just 2 hits in 14 tries, but has also been the only Diamondback to steal a bag so far this season.

While Arizona sports arguably the worst slash line in MLB after Opening Weekend, .129/.257/.259, they also had a remarkably patient series against the Padres, drawing 19 walks. Everything else has been pretty unremarkable though.


Pitching

It’s a little too early to draw conclusions from the pitching stats for the D-backs since the sample size is so vanishingly small. Zach Davies is the only pitcher to hit the 5 inning mark the first time through the rotation, but starters being on short leashes as is pretty much the norm across the league right now.

The bullpen was not all that bad in the opening series, pitching to a 3.52 ERA across 23 innings of work. Even so, they were still in the bottom half of the league in most stats.

Mark Melancon and Ian Kennedy are the new anchors for the backend of the snakes’ pen, with Melancon drawing the official title of closer. Both have seen an inning of work so far this season with Melancon already giving up a run and Kennedy surrendering two.


Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Luis Garcia (RHP, 0-0, -.— ERA, 0 K’s) vs. Madison Bumgarner (LHP, 0-0, 3.00 ERA, 2 K’s)

Madison Bumgarner got the ball on Opening Day and turned in a rather pedestrian performance. He surrendered a single run in just 3.0 innings of work and struck out 2, but also issued 4 base on balls. Bumgarner remains a shell of his former self while heading to the sunset of his career, though it would probably be a mistake to underestimate him.

Game 2: Framber Valdez* (LHP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 6 K’s) vs. Merrill Kelly (RHP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 K’s)

*not officially announced

Though he only went 4 innings, Merrill Kelly has been the Diamondbacks’ best pitcher through the beginning of the season. He recorded 7 strikeouts in those 4 frames and walked 3, but also gave up 4 hits. Still, he was the only starter not to surrender a run, so he gets high marks for that.


For Your Viewing and Listening Pleasure

Game 1: Tuesday, April 12th @ 8:40 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KTRH 740 AM/99.1 FM HD-2, TUDN 93.3/KLAT 1010 / Diamondbacks - 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station, KHOV Univision 105.1
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Diamondbacks - Bally Sports Arizona

AD

Game 2: Wednesday, August 13th @ 2:40 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, TUDN 93.3/KLAT 1010 / Diamondbacks - 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station, KHOV Univision 105.1
Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Diamondbacks - Bally Sports Arizona / MLB Network (out-of-market only)


Poll

Who wins this series?

This poll is closed

  • 84%
    Astros Sweep 2-0
    (162 votes)
  • 13%
    Series Split 1-1
    (26 votes)
  • 2%
    Diamondbacks Sweep 2-0
    (4 votes)
192 votes total Vote Now