The Arizona Diamondbacks are coming off a physically and mentally grueling day. Their spirits aren’t likely to be lifted any time soon as Scott Schoeneweis(notes) remains away due to his wife’s sudden death.
Playing with heavy hearts, the Diamondbacks are without the veteran reliever indefinitely as they play the finale of a four-game series with the Florida Marlins on Thursday night, one day after their bullpen was used extensively in a doubleheader.
The team’s poor play this season is now the least of the club’s worries after Schoeneweis’ wife was found dead Wednesday at the family’s suburban home in Arizona. The cause of death has yet to be determined, according to police.
A team spokesman said Schoeneweis left the team, returning to Phoenix after the body of 39-year-old Gabrielle Dawn Schoeneweis was found on the floor of the family’s home by deputies of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
“His world was just rocked. He and his kids, his family, his extended family, his in-laws, everybody’s lives are changed forever. He took it as expected, very hard,” Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch said. “As I told the team, just give him as much support as you can. Really, tell people that you love them if you do. You can never expect something like this to happen.”
Schoeneweis, a survivor of testicular cancer, was acquired by Arizona last December in a deal with the New York Mets. He’s been a longtime left-handed specialist out of the bullpen, going 45-55 with a 4.89 ERA in 11 seasons with five teams.
His loss certainly won’t help a taxed Diamondbacks team, which had seven different relievers combine to pitch 11 2-3 innings in their doubleheader Wednesday, losing 8-6 to the Marlins (19-22) in the opener before bouncing back to win the second game 11-9 in 13 innings.
Arizona (15-24) could use a long start from Mark Scherzer (1-3, 3.35 ERA), who hasn’t pitched more than six innings in any of his seven outings. The right-hander earned his first career win Saturday night after scattering four hits in six innings as Arizona beat Atlanta 12-0 on Saturday night.
Scherzer, who has given up two earned runs or fewer in four of his last six starts, will make his first appearance against the Marlins.
Florida will counter with Andrew Miller(notes) (1-1, 5.94), who came off the disabled list Saturday and earned his first win of the season that night, yielding two runs and four hits in five innings during the Marlins’ 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The left-hander had been sidelined nearly four weeks with a strained oblique.
Miller is 1-1 with a 2.13 ERA in two career starts versus the Diamondbacks, who have averaged 8.5 runs in winning three of their last four games.
Justin Upton(notes) had a big game for Arizona in the doubleheader finale, connecting for a three-run homer in the top of the 13th. He also homered with two men on base in the third, finishing 4 for 7 to raise his average from .298 to .313.
Florida had a strong day at the plate, going 7 for 23 with runners in scoring position in the twinbill. Dan Uggla(notes) ended a 23-game home run drought with a three-run shot in the first game, then connected for a solo shot in Game 2 to give him six on the season.
Uggla, who hit a career-high 32 homers in 2008, is batting .204 with 34 strikeouts in 137 at-bats. The Marlins, who have lost eight of 10, desperately need the All-Star second baseman to get into a groove.
“You want to go back out there and build on the things you did well and hopefully keep it going,” Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said.