We’re back to get you ready for your weekend right with some really intriguing pitchers going on this baseball Friday, including a high-end righty making his first start for his new club. Check ’em out!
RHP Yu Darvish (LAD) versus RHP Jacob deGrom (NYM) — 7:10 p.m. ET
Darvish is making his first start for the Dodgers and it comes on the heels of an absolutely brutal month of July. Darvish allowed more than seven earned runs on two occasions in July, which led to a 7.20 ERA for the month despite pitching well enough in the middle three starts between the brutal bookends. Last time out was the worst, as the Marlins reportedly found something in Darvish’s delivery that made him tip pitches. The result was that he allowed nearly as many earned runs (10) as outs recorded (11) in a 22-10 loss in his final start donning a Rangers uniform—at least for now.
He’ll play out the string with the Dodgers and evaluate his options at that point. But, that ugly start pushed his ERA all the way to 4.01. Or, the worst it has been since he allowed four earned runs in 6.1 innings against the Indians to get his season underway.
deGrom’s last nine starts have been brilliant. Plus, the Mets have won eight of them. While it may be too little, too late to save an otherwise disappointing season in Queens, it has gotten deGrom’s ERA down to 3.29, which ranks eighth in the NL. He’s third in the league in strikeouts (162) and seventh in WHIP (1.15) and innings (139.2). Since back-to-back bad starts on each side of June 1, deGrom has done the following: 1.73 ERA, 68-13 K/BB ratio in 67.2 innings and an opponents’ slash line of .185/.228/.311. In a year where Mets pitchers have fallen apart left and right, deGrom has been a breath of fresh air.
Ace in Isolation
LHP James Paxton (SEA) versus Kansas City RHP Jason Hammel
The Mariners have won Paxton’s last six starts. And it’s hard to envision many pitchers having a better month of July than the 28-year-old lefty did. Seattle didn’t lose any starts he made in the month. Moreover, he allowed just six earned runs total (1.37 ERA) with 46 strikeouts and just six walks in 39.1 innings. He also allowed only 25 hits as opposing batters hit just .182/.231/.212 against him. Paxton also hasn’t allowed a home run since June 27. And in a strange quirk, allowed all of his home runs on the season in June. In fact, he allowed single home runs in all five June starts—and zero home runs in every other start this season.
LHP Madison Bumgarner (SFG) versus Arizona LHP Anthony Banda
Bumgarner got off the schneid so to speak with a win over the Pirates on July 25—the first for the Giants in a MadBum start all year—but the team was back up to its old tricks last time out. He spun seven stellar innings, yet the Giants took a 3-2 loss to the Dodgers as neither he nor Hyun-Jin Ryu figured in the final decision. Bumgarner allowed just five hits, struck out seven Dodgers and walked just one in probably his finest start to date. Unfortunately for the Giants, it’s only start number eight. The season has been lost for both them and their ace—although for very different reasons.
This’ll be his second look at the Diamondbacks this season. He faced them in the opener, tossing seven strong innings with 11 strikeouts, no walks and three earned runs as the Giants fell 6-5 in a harbinger of things to come for Bumgarner on the season.