azcentral sports' Jay Dieffenbach and Nick Piecoro have the latest on the Arizona Diamondbacks in in our Shot Clock video.
azcentral sports' Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss the latest with slugger J.D. Martinez in our Shot Clock video.
Insider Nick Piecoro talks about the Diamondbacks activity, including potential Zack Greinke trades, from Florida, the site of baseball's winter metings.
General Manager Mike Hazen said the Diamondbacks could depart the winter meetings on Thursday without making a move.
General Manager Mike Hazen says the Diamondbacks are involved several "active conversations" at the winter meetings.
Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen talks about his activity in Orlando and where his team stands in the search for a reliever.
azcentral sports Diamondbacks insider Nick Piecoro and USA TODAY Sports columnist Bob Nightengale discuss what the Diamondbacks will be focusing on at the winter meetings this week in Orlando.
The MLB Winter Meetings are coming up and azcentral sports' Diamondbacks insider Nick Piecoro will be there. Nick joins Jay Dieffenbach to take a look at what might go down in Orlando this year.
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses winning NL Manager of the Year after his father's death before the season and Paul Goldschmidt texting him congratulations at Chase Field on Tuesday. Courtesy of MLB
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo was named National League Manager of the Year. In his first season with the team, Lovullo helped the Diamondbacks improve by 24 wins. Wochit
azcentral sports' Jay Dieffenbach and Nick Piecoro discuss the latest with the Arizona Diamondbacks in our Shot Clock video.
Jay Dieffenbach and Nick Piecoro talk baseball playoffs and Diamondbacks in our Shot Clock video.
Diamondbacks players Archie Bradley. Paul Goldschmidt and David Hernandez discuss the end of the 2017 season as the team cleans out its lockers on Tuesday.
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about the uncommon bond on this season's improbable team: "This group loves one another...and that's what's getting me through this right now." Thomas Hawthorne/ azcentral sports
Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray discusses the approach the Dodgers had against him in Saturday's NLDS Game 2 in Los Angeles.
azcentral sports' Greg Moore and Jay Dieffenbach discuss the Diamondbacks' win over the Rockies.
Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Archie Bradley recounts his RBI triple against the Colorado Rockies in the NL wild card game. Michael Chow/azcentral.com
Arizona Diamondbacks manager gives his thoughts on who starts game one against the Dodgers in the NLDS on Friday. Michael Chow/azcentral.com
Azcentral's Scott Bordow and Greg Moore break down the Arizona Diamondback's 11-8 win over the Colorado Rockies in the NL wild card game. Michael Chow/azcentral.com
Some games have it all and the NL wild-card game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies was one of then. Sarah McLellan and Scott Bordow from azcentral sports break it down. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
azcentral sports' Mark Faller and Greg Moore preview the D-Backs' wild-card game.
azcentral sports' Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss the Diamondbacks roster for the wild card game against the Rockies.
azcentral sports Diamondbacks insider Nick Piecoro and columnist Greg Moore discuss how the Diamondbacks are preparing for the NL wild-card game from Chase Field on Monday. Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
After clinching a National League wild card berth earlier in the day, the D-Backs celebrated securing home field with a walk-off win over the Miami Marlins. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney speaks after recording his 300th save in a win over the Marlins on Friday.
Diamondbacks reliever Archie Bradley talks with reporters about his RBI single in the eighth, then answers questions from teammate J.D. Martinez.
Diamondbacks reliever Archie Bradley discusses the energy associated with his appearances as a reliever and his beard. Patrick Breen/azcentral sports
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- Nick Piecoro talks D-Backs from the winter meetings
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- Lovullo on winning award after father's death; Goldy's congrats
- Diamondbacks' Torey Lovullo named NL Manager of the Year
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- Shot Clock: LA's bat-licker; Goldy's contract
- D-Backs cleaning out lockers 'a tough reality to face'
- 2017 Diamondbacks: An improbable team with an uncommon bond
- Robbie Ray after D-Backs' Game 2 loss
- Shot Clock: Lovullo's decisions work for D-Backs
- Reaction to Archie Bradley's triple
- Who starts against the Dodgers?
- Diamondbacks win wild one over Rockies
- What happened in that Diamondbacks Rockies wild-card game? Everything
- Shot Clock: D-Backs vs. Rockies in wild card
- Shot Clock: Zack's comfort dog? Wild-card preview
- Piecoro, Moore on D-Backs' preparations ahead of wild-card game
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Taijuan Walker kept falling behind in counts, struggling to put his fastball where he wanted it. He said later that Wednesday night’s start against the Los Angeles Dodgers was probably one that would have blown up on him in years past; instead, he found ways around his inconsistencies, finishing with just one run allowed in six innings.
Walker’s was the latest in a string of effective outings from the starting rotation, a group that has set the tone during the franchise-record, 13-game win streak the Diamondbacks will carry into their series opener against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field on Friday night.
The Diamondbacks beat the New York Mets 3-2 at Citi Field on Aug 24. That was the start of the streak. It’s probably no coincidence that it was the same day left-hander Robbie Ray returned from the disabled list, logging five innings and giving up just one run.
The rotation has been nearly untouchable since. The group has been a strength for the Diamondbacks most of the season, but it has taken things to another level recently. Over the 13 games, the rotation has posted a 1.56 ERA, with 90 strikeouts and only six home runs allowed in 80 2/3 innings. The starters have been credited with 12 of the 13 wins.
Overall, the Diamondbacks’ rotation ranked third in the majors with a 3.46 ERA – just a shade behind the Dodgers (3.38) and Washington Nationals (3.41) prior to Thursday's games – and was second in combined wins above replacement (WAR) behind only the Cleveland Indians.
“It starts with our starting pitching,” Diamondbacks infielder Daniel Descalso said. “Obviously, our starting pitching has been amazing during this run and they’ve really been good all year. Anytime you get a good starting pitching outing, you’re going to have a chance to win the ballgame.”
Each of the team’s primary five starters is enjoying a markedly better season than last year – and, in the case of three of them, a better season than ever before.
Right-hander Zack Greinke seems to be making fewer mistakes with his fastball than last year and has an array of effective and consistent secondary pitches, all of which has allowed him to return to the ace form he’d exhibited prior to last season.
Ray and right-hander Zack Godley are throwing more effective curveballs than they ever have. Left-hander Patrick Corbin has been up and down, but his recent five-start stretch has been reminiscent of the high mark of his career, during the first half in 2013, a time before he was sidetracked by elbow surgery.
And Walker believes improvements with his slider and curveball have allowed his fastball to be even more effective. He also says experience has been a big factor in his success; he thinks it helped him get through Wednesday night without his best stuff.
“I just think it comes from maturity,” Walker said. “I could have let some things get to me easily, especially a team like that. This year, I’ve been able to slow things down, lock in for one pitch at a time.”
Greinke is not normally one to buy into the unquantifiable, but even he admitted the starters might be feeding off each other during their recent run of success. Greinke mentioned how Ray started Monday’s game with 15 consecutive outs, saying it crossed his mind during his outing on Tuesday night when he didn’t allow a hit through four innings.
“I don’t always think so,” Greinke said, “but we have to be (feeding off each other) with how well it’s working out right now.”
Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.
Padres at Diamondbacks
When: 6:40 p.m.
Where: Chase Field (Roof hotline: 602-462-6262).
Pitchers: Diamondbacks LHP Patrick Corbin (13-11, 3.83) vs. Padres RHP Jordan Lyles (0-2, 6.71).
TV/Radio: FSAZ/KMVP-FM (98.7), KHOV-FM (105.1).
Corbin allowed two runs (one earned) in 5 1/3 innings against the Rockies last weekend at Coors Field. He’s allowed just two earned runs in 35 2/3 innings (0.50 ERA) in his past five starts. … He has faced the Padres three times this season, logging a 3.38 ERA with five walks and 25 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings. … Lyles was cut loose by the Rockies at the beginning of August and signed with the Padres a week later. After making five starts in Triple-A El Paso, he had his first outing for the Padres last week, giving up two runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Dodgers. … He has awful career numbers against the Diamondbacks, including a 7.26 ERA with 87 hits allowed in 53 1/3 innings.
Saturday: At Chase Field, 5:10 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Zack Godley (7-7, 3.21) vs. Padres RHP Jhoulys Chacin (12-10, 3.96).
Sunday: At Chase Field, 1:10 p.m., Diamondbacks LHP Robbie Ray (12-5, 2.80) vs. Padres RHP Luis Perdomo (7-9, 4.62).
Monday: At Chase Field, 6:40 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke (16-6, 3.01) vs. Rockies TBA.
San Diego Padres
Padres update: The Padres entered Thursday’s series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals having dropped the first three games of the series. Prior to that, they weren’t playing too badly, at least not for a club that’s 16 games under .500. From Aug. 14 to the start of the Cardinals series, they were 11-9, including series victories against the Phillies, Cardinals, Giants and Dodgers. Their pitching has been solid of late, posting a 3.06 ERA over the past 23 games. RHP Dinelson Lamet has been impressive over his past nine starts, allowing just 15 runs in 53 innings for a 2.55 ERA. 1B Wil Myers had a hot start to the year, hitting .293 with 11 homers in his first 41 games, but has cooled considerably. He’s hitting just .206 since the middle of July. Their best second-half hitters have been LF Jose Pirela, who is hitting .295 with six homers since the break, and 3B Cory Spangenberg, who is at .293 with eight homers.