The inconsistent Arizona Diamondbacks have alternated lengthy winning and losing streaks for nearly three weeks.
Arizona opens a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night at Chase Field, hoping their latest victory will start another streak.
The Diamondbacks (17-16) defeated the Mets 3-1 on Sunday, snapping a 13-game home skid against New York. The victory also ended a five-game slide in which the Diamondbacks were outscored 24-11.
Before its latest skid, Arizona had won six straight games from April 25-30 and that followed another five-game slide.
“Just trying to get past these streaks, that’s basically the theme, at least the losing streak parts,” Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. “We like the winning streaks.”
Despite their inconsistencies, the Diamondbacks are just two games behind the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
Arizona has had little success recently against Philadelphia. The Diamondbacks went 1-5 against the Phillies last year—including a three-game sweep at Chase Field—and are just 5-14 overall against them since 2004.
The Diamondbacks’ Doug Davis (2-3, 2.25 ERA) looks to bounce back from a tough loss. The left-hander allowed one unearned run and five hits while striking out a season-high seven in seven innings, but took the loss Wednesday in a 2-1 defeat to the Dodgers.
“That’s just the way the game is,” said Davis, who has allowed two earned runs or less in five of his six starts this season. “If you let things like that bother you, this game will crush you and you’ll end up coming to the park in a bad mood.”
He has yet to win in three road starts despite posting a 1.00 ERA, and is 2-0 with a 3.50 ERA in three home starts, all won by Arizona.
Davis will make his first start against the Phillies since 2005 when he was with Milwaukee, and is 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA in four career starts against Philadelphia.
The Phillies hope Freddy Garcia (1-2, 6.05) will be able to make his scheduled start after suffering a freak accident before Sunday’s 8-5 win over San Francisco. While shagging balls during batting practice, Garcia ran into an equipment cart that had stopped along the warning track at AT&T Park.
Garcia bruised and scraped his left shin, but no fracture was discovered.
“See how I feel tomorrow,” he said Sunday night. “Right now I feel better. I don’t expect that to happen in a ballpark. I was full speed and I have caught the ball. That’s the best thing. It hurt right away. I didn’t say anything. I was in pain.”
If Garcia is unable to go, manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee will select a starter.
After being acquired from the Chicago White Sox in the offseason, Garcia opened 2007 on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis and has yet to pitch more than five innings in any four starts.
The right-hander gave up four runs, seven hits, two walks and hit a batter in five-plus innings of a 4-3 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday
He has only faced the Diamondbacks once in his career, a 5-2 victory for Seattle in 2000.
Jimmy Rollins went 2-for-5 with a triple and two runs on Sunday to extend his season-high hitting streak to 10 games. Rollins is batting .375 (18-for-48) with eight multihit games during his run, but is just 1-for-12 in his career against Davis.