After starting the season with a 5-1 homestead, the Arizona Diamondbacks won their third consecutive series to start a season for the first time in franchise history.
The Diamondbacks have matched their pace from last season, in which they also finished 7-2. Arizona also won a series at the new Busch Stadium for only the second time since it opened in 2006 (the last one came in 2016). The D-Backs are now 2-8-3 in series all-time in St. Louis.
Torey Lovullo also earned his 100th career managerial win in only 171 games as a big league skipper despite being ejected in the second inning, which makes him the fastest manager to reach 100 wins according to Elias. Current Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire, who got to 100-win mark in 173 games as the skipper of the Minnesota Twins between 2002-03, held the previous record.
* A.J. Pollock and David Peralta yelling at the ump.
* Torey Lovullo's first ejection of the season.
* Yadier Molina going after Lovullo.
* Both dugouts/bullpens clear.
"This all instigated by a horrible strike 3 call again by Tim Timmons." — Bob Brenly. pic.twitter.com/MWfftMwV2t
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) April 8, 2018
Before the road trip continues with three games in San Francisco against the Giants starting tomorrow night, here are three thoughts from a productive trip to the midwest.
Mixed Bag at the Plate
Before the D-Backs rallied in the seventh and eighth inning against the Cardinals bullpen, this section was going to discuss the inability of the offense to hit consistently.
But their late rally, which ultimately resulted in a huge series win, changed things a bit. Nick Ahmed came through with his team-leading eighth RBI to tie the game in the seventh. Then, David Peralta hit a two-run homer in the eighth and A.J. Pollock added a solo shot, giving the D-Backs a 4-1 win.
The first two games of the series were a different story entirely. Arizona managed to only score four runs in the first two games of the series and went 4-for-23 with runners in scoring position. They won the first game 3-1, but you have to wonder how much longer the D-Backs can sustain a consistent offense without Lamb and Souza Jr. and no production from Goldschmidt.
Bounce Back Outings
Walks — five of them to be exact — are still a concern for Ray, but the left-hander fixed his mechanics and struck out nine Cardinals over six innings of one-run ball. He only gave up two hits.
Walker looked even better in his first road start of the season. After needing 98 pitches to get through five innings against the Dodgers last Monday, Walker threw 85 pitches to get through six innings, allowing only one run on two hits. He commanded his fastball up in the zone and pitched to contact.
The bullpen’s consistent dominance has been the best part of the D-Backs hot start. D-Backs relievers have held the opposition scoreless in five consecutive games and own a 1.81 ERA this season.
New closer Brad Boxberger has not allowed a run and has four saves, Archie Bradley has surrendered one earned run in 6.2 innings with five holds, and Yoshihisa Hirano has given up one earned run in 5.1 innings. If the starters can consistently go six innings, the D-Backs have a great chance to win a lot of games.