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News » Nationals-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-05-10

Nationals-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-05-10

Nationals-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-05-10
With the offense still failing to generate runs, the A.J. Hinch era in Arizona is looking very similar to Bob Melvin's.

The Diamondbacks again look to break out of their offensive funk and win their first game for their new manager Sunday in the finale of a three-game series against the Washington Nationals, who are seeking their first sweep at Chase Field in five years.

Arizona (12-19) fired Melvin on Thursday after his underachieving team got off to a disappointing start. The Diamondbacks finished two games behind the NL West champion Dodgers in 2008, but are already 9 1/2 games back of first-place Los Angeles this season.

A punchless offense has been the biggest reason for Arizona's slow start - and Melvin's dismissal.

The Diamondbacks have the majors' worst batting average (.226) and have scored the second-fewest runs (110).

After losing to Washington 5-4 on Friday in Hinch's managerial debut, Arizona fell 2-1 on Saturday for its sixth defeat in seven games.

The Diamondbacks have plated just 17 run in their last seven games, but had plenty of chances to score Saturday. Arizona had leadoff runners on base five times but went 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position and left a season-high 16 on base.

"We had opportunities," Hinch said. "I think that was the statement of the night. Sixteen guys left on base, a lot of positives coming out of that, with the exception of being unable to push them across."

Max Scherzer (0-3, 3.38 ERA) is fully aware of the Diamondbacks' offensive woes.

Scherzer, who is still seeking his first career victory, has pitched well enough to win several starts, but has been a hurt by a lack of run support.

In 12 career starts, the right-hander has never received more than three runs of support. The Diamondbacks have scored a total of six runs in his five starts this season.

"I can't worry about it, that's not my job," Scherzer told the Diamondbacks' official Web site. "I just need to go out there and do the best I can. I just want to go out there and give the team a chance to win. No one wants to lose. We're all trying to do everything we can to win a game, it's just not happening."

On Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, Scherzer gave up three runs - all in the first inning - and four hits in six innings of a 3-1 loss.

In his only appearance against the Nationals (10-18) on May 30, Scherzer allowed one run and one hit in 2 2-3 innings of relief.

Washington won its third in a row Friday and is seeking its first three-game sweep in Arizona since May 14-16, 2004, when the franchise was based in Montreal.

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman extended his hitting streak to 27 games with a home run in the eighth inning Friday. He's hitting .353 (41 for 116) with six home runs and 21 RBIs during his run.

Scott Olsen (1-3, 6.54) takes the ball for the Nationals looking to bounce back from a subpar outing.

Against Houston on Tuesday, the left-hander gave up five runs and six hits in five innings of a game suspended by rain with the score tied at 10 in the 11th inning. The game will be resumed July 9 in Houston with the Nationals as the home team.

Olsen has not had much luck against the Diamondbacks in his career, going 0-2 with an 8.47 ERA in three starts. He's given up 13 runs in 10 innings in losing both starts at Chase Field.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 10, 2009

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