Author’s Note: Yes, it was a terrible 4/20 pun.
Game #14: Atlanta Braves vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Start Time: 6:40pm MST
Broadcast Information: TV: Fox Sports Arizona Radio: 620am KTAR
Pitching Matchup: Kyle Beach (1-1, 0.75 ERA) vs Trevor Cahill (1-0, 1.35 ERA)
Game in a Nutshell:
If ever there was a better representation provided by a single game of where two teams are in their respective momentum swings, Thursday night’s tilt at Chase Field did just that for the Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks. Atlanta seemingly could do no wrong on offense, racking up 10 runs and finding every unoccupied blade of grass with base hit after base hit.
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks couldn’t seem to record an out, and their offense looked completely punchless with Chris Young, Justin Upton, and Miguel Montero all sitting out the game.
The two teams may be separated by only a game in the standings (Braves are 8-5, Diamondbacks are 7-6), but they are truly heading in opposite directions, and things do not look good for Arizona overall at this moment.
Key Player: Trevor Cahill
Since our selection for Key Player did not play last night, we’ll go with the safe pick and say Cahill. He is going to have his hands full with the Braves, especially two of their younger players. Jason Heyward is starting to show signs that he may be returning to 2010 form, and Freddie Freeman may be rounding into form as well, judging by his two HR and five RBI performance last night.
Cahill, to his credit, looked rock steady in his last outing against the Rockies, and he likely has the stuff to keep the Braves in check. Now if only the offense could score some runs….
Key to Success:
The big key for the Diamondbacks will be to get baserunners. They don’t have two of their big boppers, and Paul Goldschmidt hasn’t really started hitting the ball like he is capable of. With that lack of power in the lineup, the D’Backs are going to need to manufacture some runs, which will mean getting guys like Willie Bloomquist and Ryan Roberts on base and running with frequency. That will hopefully be enough to get Beachy off his game, and it probably would be the team’s only chance of scoring enough runs to give Cahill a bit of a cushion.
-Keith Olbermann finally got around to posting his thoughts on the NL Western Division, but he isn’t exactly bullish on the Diamondbacks’ chances this season. In fact, he isn’t that bullish on ANY of the teams in the division, citing a lack of depth throughout and injuries that have already befallen the Giants and D’Backs. [Baseball Nerd]
-Speaking of Mr. Goldschmidt, the Republic had an interesting take on his early season struggles, and profiled his optimism in terms of getting things turned around. For the sake of this team, who isn’t exactly deep in the power department to begin with, Arizona has to hope he can find the elixir to what ails him. [Arizona Republic]
-The newest Diamondback AJ Pollock isn’t exactly a household name yet in the Valley, so the Republic had a nice little feature introducing the youngster to the masses. [Arizona Republic]
Follow Jim on Twitter at @JimNeveauDBacks, or if you’re interested in hockey and golf tweets, you can follow him at @JimNeveau.