The D-backs (70-58) return home after a 4-5 road trip that was less than they hoped for but ended on a uptick -- with three wins in four games against the Mets and the return of All-Star Robbie Ray to the rotation. With 34 games remaining, they have already exceeded last season's win total, and they are back in front of Colorado for the first National League wild-card position.
Tonight opens a six-game homestand -- three each against the Giants and L.A. Dodgers -- and kicks off a stretch of 25 consecutive games against NL West opponents. Nineteen of the remaining 34 games will be played a Chase Field, where the D-backs are 39-23, the third-best home record in baseball.
The Giants (52-77) haven't played in Phoenix since the season-opening series, April 2-6. They have the second-worst road record in the majors at 21-42.
While in the unfamiliar confines of last place in the NL West, they have embraced the role of spoiler, taking two of three from the D-backs in San Francisco earlier this month, and two of three from Milwaukee this week. "To kind of come here and ruin their day, three days, is something moving forward we can build on as a club," Giants starter Matt Moore said after Wednesday's 4-2 win over the Brewers.
Greinke is tied with Dodgers lefty Alex Wood and Milwaukee righty Zach Davies for second in the NL in victories, one behind Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw. He is third in the league in strikeouts (178) and WHIP (1.08) and fifth in ERA.
Greinke is 11-1 with a 2.34 ERA this season at hitter-friendly Chase Field -- limiting opponents to a .192 batting average in 14 starts -- but his 11-game home win streak was broken on Aug. 9 with a 3-2 loss to the Dodgers. He was roughed up last Saturday at Minnesota, giving up seven hits and five runs (four earned) in four innings -- his shortest start of the year. After going undefeated in July, he is 1-2 with a 5.01 ERA in four August starts.
Greinke is 9-2 with a 2.55 ERA in 15 career starts against San Francisco. He last pitched against them on Opening Davy, giving up two runs and four hits over five innings in a no-decision. He'll be working with a new catcher in Chris Iannetta. Jeff Mathis, who has been Greinke's starting catcher all season, suffered a broken right hand on the road trip and is out indefinitely.
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Giants starting pitcher Ty Blach (8-9, 4.59 ERA)
Blach has never started against the Diamondbacks, although he made three relief appearances against them this year, allowing three runs in two innings. He is 3-4 with a 5.50 ERA on the road this season, and the Giants have lost four of his past six starts overall.
Blach has given up six runs in each of his last two starts -- losses to Philadelphia and Miami.
Kelvin KuoKelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
The Giants are without two of their regulars -- with Brandon Belt and Joe Panik both on the disabled list due to concussion symptoms. Belt has been sidelined since being hit in the head by an Anthony Banda curveball on Aug. 4.
Pablo Sandoval is back at the hot corner for San Francisco after failing miserably with the Boston Red Sox. He's hitting .274 with one home run in 17 games.
Buster Posey remains the major force in the Giants' lineup, hitting .317 with 12 homers and 54 RBI. He has a .338 career average at Chase Field. Shortstop Brandon Crawford is hitting just .236, but he leads the team with 63 RBI and comes to town with an eight-game hitting streak (11 for 27 with two home runs).
Sergio EstradaSergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
The D-backs' offense continued to sputter on the road, scoring just 32 runs in the nine games. Once again, they'll hope that a return to their home park boosts production.
For the season, they are hitting .272 and averaging 5.5 runs per game at Chase Field, compared with .234 and 4.2 on the road.
Since the All-Star break, the D-backs are hitting .238 and averaging 4.4 runs per game, compared with .259 and 5.0 prior to the break.
"It's been a tough month and a half for us, hitting-wise, but that's baseball," catcher Chris Herrmann said. "We're not going to be perfect all year. We're going to get the job done most of the time."