While the Dodgers and Giants play this weekend in a battle between the top two teams in the National League West, Arizona is slowly making its way up the standings. The Diamondbacks stand 5 1/2 games behind division-leading San Francisco after Friday’s win over the New York Mets, who dropped a season-worst four games under .500 and lost for the 12th time in 14 games since the All-Star break. Mets left fielder Jason Bay went 0-for-4 and is 4-for-30 since returning from the disabled list on July 17.
The Arizona Diamondbacks moved back to .500 with Friday’s win, and they’re 22-9 at home since May 23. The team continues to shop shortstop Stephen Drew, but they’re unlikely to get much in return since he’s batting .222 and his contract expires at the end of the season. The Diamondbacks would like to add an impact bat, but they appear unwilling to give up any of their top pitching prospects. In order to make a serious run at the postseason, they’ll need a solid stretch run from center fielder Chris Young, who is hitting .345 (10-for-29) with two homers and nine RBI in his last nine games.
New York vs Arizona
When: 8:10 PM ET, Saturday, July 28, 2012
Where: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, PIX 11 (New York), FS Arizona (Arizona)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets RH Chris Young (2-4, 3.91 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks RH Ian Kennedy (8-8, 4.20)
Young is winless over his last four outings, but he has also been a victim of poor run support. The Mets have averaged just 2.4 runs over his last seven outings, including last Monday when he allowed one run over seven innings against the Nationals. He’s 2-3 with a 3.91 ERA in 10 career starts against the Diamondbacks, and he has a 3.67 ERA in six career starts at Chase Field.
Set to make his 100th career appearance, Kennedy is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA, no walks and 14 strikeouts in last two starts. He’s been especially strong in the second half throughout his career, going 20-6 with 2.91 ERA after the All-Star break. Kennedy won his last start on July 23 against the Rockies, giving up two runs over eight innings.
1. The Mets announced that Jeremy Hefner will remain in the starting rotation while Johan Santana (ankle) is out.
2. Arizona LF Jason Kubel has set a franchise record with 11 home runs in July.
3. Mets reliever Frank Francisco (oblique, knee) threw a scoreless inning Friday in his second rehab appearance for Double-A Binghamton.