For the first time since they faced off in Australia, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks face off this weekend in Arizona for the first time in the United States this season. I caught up with Blake Stokes from AZ Snake Pit to talk about the Dbacks' start to the season.
DAVID LAUTERBACH The Dodgers have suffered a couple big injuries that people think relate to the trip to Australia. Regardless, what did you think of the decision to have the Opening Series in Sydney?
BLAKE STOKES: I'm torn, honestly. The baseball fan in me liked it. I think it's good for the sport, gets the word out, so to speak. However, the Dbacks fan in me was a little frustrated in some ways. Mainly for me it was having the two meaningful games, followed by another week of spring training. I'm honestly not sure if the trip is having any effect on the team, other than that, though. It seems a bit of a cop out for us to blame our struggles on that.
DL: Since we last spoke, Patrick Corbin was knocked out for the season. How much could that effect the DBacks?
BS: I think it's huge. First, we lost my pick to be our best pitcher this season right at the start, and that's going to hurt any team. Second, it made us dip into our pitching depth early, instead of saving it for later on in the season when we needed it.
DL: Who needs to step up the most to fill the void left by Corbin?
BS: Brandon McCarthy. He really needs to step up and be the veteran starter he was supposed to be when we signed him.
DL: What do you think of Trumbo's big start?
BS: I love it! I mean, how could I not, right? Plus, his strike out rate is lower than it ever has been in his career. Small sample size does apply, of course. Will it last? That I don't know, but I'm enjoying it while it does.
DL: What's the main thing that's gone wrong for Arizona in its slow start?
BS: The starting pitching. It just hasn't been there, especially from our veteran starters, McCarthy and Cahill.
DL: What's the main thing that's gone right?
BS: I've been pleasently surprised at how well the offense has done so far. It hasn't been enough, but they've been far from horrible.
DL: Other than Corbin, what injury has had the biggest impact on the team?
BS: I think David Hernandez has been the biggest loss so far. Randell Delgado was supposed to be in the bullpen, but was brought to the starting rotation to replace Corbin, and then we lost Hernandez, which shuffled up our bullpen even more.
DL: Series prediction?
BS: I'm fairly confident in Wade Miley right now, so I think the Diamondbacks have a pretty good shot at winning his game. I have zero confidence in Trevor Cahill right now, so I'm afraid that game will probably go to the Dodgers. For me, it comes down to McCarthy. If he gives us a good start, I think the Dbacks have at least a shot to win the series. If he doesn't, we're in trouble.