Merrill Kelly the Diamondbacks Attempt to Stymie the Giants

May 1, 2023

The pitching advantage shifts to the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks as they try to tie their series against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday afternoon

Right-hander Merrill Kelly (9-3, 2.90 average) will be aiming for a tenth win in the National League as he tries to derail an up-and-coming Giants club that has won 11 of its last 12 games

San Francisco is expected to take the opening path after winning the first game of the three-game series 8-5 on Friday.

Kelly would make his 17th career start against the Giants, against whom he is compiling a 6-4 record with a 3.19 era

The 34-year-old veteran is unbeaten in his last 10 starts, compiling an 8-0 record with a 2.69 era in that time. June had just three hits against the Philadelphia Phillies and the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, striking out a total of 14 batters in 13 innings.

He will be competing against a Giants team that has made several successful performances of four players on Friday. Michael Conforto was the leader with three hits, including two doubles with two runs, which accounted for half of the team’s score

The biggest hit of San Francisco’s victory came in an unusual situation in the fifth inning. Manager Gabe Kapler gave rookie Patrick Bailey the green light on a 3-0 score, and the precious Hope responded with a two-run home run that turned a 6-4 game into a four-run advantage.

This was the first time Bailey put a ball in play on a 3-0 field this season. The Giants are now 7-for-8 with a double and three home runs on 3-0 accounts this year, with Brandon Crawford and Wilmer Flores having produced the previous home runs

“He’s pretty smart. He knows what pitchers want to do to him,” Kapler said of Bailey, 24. “It’s not that easy for young batsmen to pull the trigger (on 3-0 throws). It’s not so easy to put a confident swing on the ball.”

The Giants’ likely starter is Ryan Walker (2-0, 1.56 era) in an opener role. The right-hander allowed only one run in a total of 2 2/3 innings as a starter in the victories over the San Diego Padres on Monday and Wednesday

 

The starts were the first in Walker’s rookie season, when he successfully succeeded opening specialist John Brebbia, who scored five wins in eight starts before ending up on the issue list last weekend.

The Giants are currently using openers to fill in the gaps created by the issue to Alex Cobb and Ross Stripling

Arizona rookie Corbin Carroll scored two runs in Friday’s loss, raising his average to.301 a day after he learned he had qualified for two remaining outfield spots on the National League all-Star team among the four finalists.

Carroll also stole his 23rd on Friday. The Diamondbacks are in third place in the NL in interceptions (76), following only the Cincinnati Reds (82) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (77).

“We’re capable of doing a lot of different things, but the speed of our team is at the top of the class,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We can take advantage of some things, and that makes a big difference.

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