A return to Chase Field has the Diamondbacks’ once-struggling offense back on track. The D-backs will look to ride their rejuvenated lineup to a fourth straight win when they host the Mets on Saturday.
The Diamondbacks (59-55) recorded two runs and a single extra-base hit over two losses to round out a six-game road trip, the fourth and fifth times over a seven-game stretch they’d been held to two runs or fewer.
Since coming home, though, they’ve accumulated 20 runs, 30 hits, 12 doubles and three home runs over the first three games of an eight-game homestand.
On Friday night, they racked up six doubles — a total they had reached just two other times this season — before Paul Goldschmidt’s walk-off home run delivered a 5-4 victory over the Mets (52-61). He has three game-winning hits this season and leads the NL with 91 RBIs.
“Oh, it’s fun,” Goldschmidt said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s you hitting it or a teammate hitting it — you get an opportunity to win the game there in the ninth inning or extra innings or whatever it is, it’s a lot of fun. Hopefully we can do it a few more times.”
Goldschmidt has six home runs in his past 14 games heading into his bobblehead day at Chase Field.
New York’s Zack Wheeler has allowed eight homers in his first nine major league starts, but the long ball might not be his biggest concern. Wheeler (4-2, 3.91 ERA) has walked multiple batters in every start and tied a season high with five last Sunday. Wheeler, whose walks-per-nine-innings total (4.97) ranks among the worst in the major leagues, allowed four runs in five innings of the Mets’ 6-2 loss to the Royals. Three of those runs came in the fifth courtesy of a pair of dropped fly balls by Marlon Byrd.
“I told him that in times like that, you have to dial it up and make a statement, ‘This is it, boys. I’m putting an end to this right here. This thing is over,'” manager Terry Collins said. “You don’t worry about not having anything left at the end of the inning — you just put an end to it.”
Wheeler had been 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA over his previous five starts.
Brandon McCarthy (2-5, 4.94) also struggled with his control his last time out, although his struggles came as more of a surprise. Unlike Wheeler, McCarthy is known for his precision, as his 1.65 walks-per-nine innings mark is among the best in the major leagues.
But the right-hander issued a season-high three Sunday, with rust apparently a factor in his return from a two-month stint on the disabled list. McCarthy needed 97 pitches to get through 4 1/3 innings, giving up two runs in Arizona’s 4-0 loss to Boston.
“Towards the end, I just felt my lack of … game shape,” McCarthy told the Diamondbacks’ official website. “I just wasn’t able to execute as much as I’d like, and the ball kind of started getting up a little bit.”
McCarthy has never faced the Mets, who have averaged just 2.7 runs over a 14-game stretch in which they’ve hit only three home runs. They haven’t gone deep in five straight contests.
Byrd, their leader with 17 home runs, has gone 19 games without one, though he nearly notched his 100th career homer on an inside-the-park attempt Friday before he was thrown out at the plate.