The Arizona Diamondbacks continued their streak of miserable play in June this past weekend, wrapping up a pretty unremarkable month by getting swept by the Atlanta Braves. And it was because of poor pitching (big surprise) and costly errors.
The D-backs (42-39) are somehow still in first place in the National League West standings by two games, but that's only by virtue of the fact that both the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres failed to win their respective series over the weekend.
Friday night's 3-0 loss to Atlanta marked the first time this season that Arizona was shutout. Former Diamondbacks slugger Justin Upton hit an RBI single in the first inning and that was all the offense the Braves really needed.
Julio Tehran (6-4, 3.12 ERA) dominated Arizona all night, striking out ten batters in six scoreless innings. The D-backs could only muster four hits off of Tehran, and the rest of the Braves' pitchers.
Despite Arizona's lack of offense, the D-backs received some decent pitching (pretty much the only example such all weekend) from Randall Delgado (0-2, 4.05) who, ironically, was part of the infamous Upton trade back in January. Delgado, in just his third start this year, allowed only two runs in six solid innings of work.
In Saturday's game, pitching was the D-backs' main issue, as they lost 11-5. It actually looked as though Arizona would pull of the win late in the game. A.J. Pollock hit a two-run homer to tie the game in the sixth, and in the eighth, Miguel Montero smacked his fifth homerun to give the Diamondbacks a 5-4 lead.
But the shit started hitting the fan once David Hernandez (4-5, 4.58) entered the ball game. Hernandez quickly allowed two runners on base, and Jason Heyward roped two-run double down the line to give the Braves a 6-5 lead. Atlanta native Tony Sipp (3-1, 4.56) entered the game to try and stop the bleeding, but gave up a single and double, which plated three more runs for the Braves.
Sipp was pulled in favor of the newly healthy J.J. Putz (2-1, 4.15), who returned off of the disabled list from a right elbow strain. Putz gave a RBI single too, but managed to put the D-backs out their misery and record the final out of a seven-run eighth inning for Atlanta.
Ian Kennedy (3-4, 5.36), who started the game, was no better than his relief pitchers, as he couldn't make it through five innings, giving up four earned runs in 4.1 innings pitched.
Arizona lost their fourth straight game Sunday by a score of 6-2. Again, the Diamondbacks had trouble scoring, and their only two runs of the game came from two separate double play groundballs from, the usually reliable Paul Goldschmidt. Paul Maholm (9-6, 3.69) silenced the D-backs offense, giving up two earned runs in 6.2 innings pitched.
Trevor Cahill (3-10, 4.66) was his usual inconsistent self, and allowed six runs and seven in hits in 4.1 innings. All of the Braves runs came from the long ball, including Freddie Freeman's third inning three-run homer, his second of the series, and Dan Uggla's two-run homerun in the fifth. In his last eight starts, Cahill has a 0-6 record and 7.91 ERA.
The Diamondbacks will be ecstatic to start July, as Arizona went 12-15 in the month of June and has not received a win from a starting pitcher in its last 22 straight games.
Arizona will continue their current road swing by traveling to Citi Field to take on the New York Mets at 4:10 p.m. and will send Wade Miley (4-7, 4.55) to the mound to face Shaun Marcum (1-9, 5.08). TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620 AM. More info: www.dbacks.com.