The Arizona Diamondbacks are off to their worst start in franchise history, and struggles on the mound are largely responsible.
Some improvement at the plate would also help.
The Diamondbacks attempt to avoid already matching their longest losing streak from last season by salvaging a win from this three-game set against the Colorado Rockies on Sunday at Coors Field.
It’s still early, but Arizona (1-7) owns the worst record in baseball, with its staff compiling a major league-worst 6.99 ERA while allowing 12 homers.
The Diamondbacks’ bats, however, also shoulder some of the responsibility with a .186 average with runners in scoring position and .237 mark overall. The batters have been particularly awful during Arizona’s current four-game slide, going 2 for 27 with runners in scoring position while hitting .190.
Arizona went 0 for 8 in that scenario Saturday, while Brandon McCarthy was tagged three homers and allowed six runs in six innings as he failed to protect a four-run lead in a 9-4 defeat to Colorado (3-3).
"Everything just fell apart, like what has been happening," catcher Miguel Montero said. "We made bad pitches, period. It was a lot of hanging breaking balls, a lot of up, out over-the-plate fastballs. We’ve just got to bear down, make good pitches, especially with two strikes."
Wade Miley (1-1, 5.25 ERA) will get the nod in an effort to help the Diamondbacks avoid their first five-game skid since June 28-July 2.
The left-hander is 6-0 with a 2.56 ERA in nine games – eight starts – against the Rockies, compiling a 1.45 ERA while winning both decisions in three starts last year.
Miley has Arizona’s only win so far, recovering from a four-run first inning by tossing six scoreless in a 5-4 victory over San Francisco on Tuesday.
"The offense did a great job of kind of picking me up," Miley said. "I was down. I gave up the four-spot and was able to kind of overcome it."
Mark Trumbo has four homers and 11 RBIs over his last four visits to Coors Field. He has five hits and five RBIs while homering in each of his last three games.
The Rockies are aiming for their first series sweep of the Diamondbacks since taking three meetings at home from Sept. 10-12, 2010.
Charlie Blackmon could make a major difference again after totaling nine hits in back-to-back games, tying the team record set by Juan Pierre in September 2002.
The left fielder collected three hits with one run Saturday, and he’s a career .462 hitter with 12 RBIs in 16 meetings with Arizona. That includes going 19 for 30 (.633) with five doubles, seven RBIs and eight runs over the past six matchups.
Brett Anderson is scheduled to face Arizona for the first time as he tries to win for the first time since beating Houston with Oakland on April 7. Since then, the left-hander is 0-4 with a 7.41 ERA while allowing opponents to hit .309 in 15 games – four starts. That stretch includes missing almost four months with a stress fracture in his right foot, an injury that may have contributed to his move to the A’s bullpen last season.
Anderson’s stint with the Rockies began with another defeat Tuesday, when he allowed four runs – three earned – in six innings of a 4-3 loss at Miami.