Shelby Miller won for the second time this season, beating the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night at Petco Park.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talked about Shelby Miller’s strong outing in an 11-2 win over the Padres.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo after his team rallied to beat the Dodgers 3-2 on Monday night. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray walked four batters early but settled in and struck out 10 in six innings against the Dodgers on Monday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss Zack Greinke’s slump and the Cardinals and Sun Devils continuing their preparations for the season.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Fernando Rodney’s save, Taijuan Walker’s performance and his team’s win against the Dodgers on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker gave up just one run in five innings against the Dodgers on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks catcher Chris Iannetta talks about his home run against Dodgers lefty Rich Hill and the performance of teammate Taijuan Walker in Sunday’s win. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo explains why he used closer Fernando Rodney with his team trailing in the eighth inning on Saturday night. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin gave up five runs (three earned) in six innings vs. the Dodgers in Arizona’s 8-4 loss to Los Angeles on Saturday night. Nick PIecoro/azcentral sports
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Manager Torey Lovullo talks about Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw’s dominance vs. the Diamondbacks on Friday night.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke gave up five runs in five innings against the Dodgers on Friday night, coming up short in his matchup against Clayton Kershaw.
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Shot Clock: azcentral sports’ Mark Faller and Dan Bickley discuss the Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers series and the NBA playoffs.
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Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke and Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw will combine to make more than $69 million this season.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller took the blame for Wednesday night’s loss to the Giants.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talked about Shelby Miller’s outing and his hitters’ struggles with guys in scoring position.
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Now that the Cubs have their rings, a look back the Diamondbacks’ World Series ring from 2001.
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Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock talks about his play on Aaron Hill’s third-inning drive and Jake Lamb’s go-ahead, three-run triple.
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Lefty Robbie Ray worked around five walks and was helped by his defense in the Diamondbacks’ win over the Giants on Tuesday night.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker said he made a mistake by trying to throw home on a strange play against the Giants in Monday’s loss in San Francisco. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Arizona Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin talks about his personal performance so far this season after the team swept the series against the Indians, April 9, 2017. (Bob McManaman/azcentral sports)
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Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley disagree on the NBA MVP and share their thoughts on the D-Backs’ hot start.
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Arizona Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo discusses the team’s win against the Indians, sweeping the series, April 9, 2017. (Bob McManaman/azcentral sports)
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Breaking down the Diamondbacks’ fantastic start to the 2017 season.
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Right-hander Zack Greinke gave up just one run in 6 2/3 innings against the Indians as the Diamondbacks rolled to another victory.
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Arizona Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo talks about the team’s ups and downs in a win against the Indians, April 7, 2017. (Bob McManaman/azcentral sports)
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D-Backs’ Shelby Miller talks about his 2017 season start in a win against the Cleveland Indians, April 7, 2017. (Bob McManaman/azcentral sports)
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azcentral sports’ Mark Faller and Dan Bickley discuss the D-Backs’ start to the season as well as the retirement of Shane Doan.
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Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta discusses Thursday’s win over the Giants.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses his team’s 3-1 start to the season.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo on using humidor for baseballs at Chase Field.
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Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker discusses his first start in a Diamondbacks uniform on Wednesday against the Giants. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his club’s 8-6 win over the Giants on Wednesday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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The Diamondbacks need a shortstop. Scott Bordow and Jay Dieffenbach discuss that and the Hamilton hazing scandal in the Shot Clock.
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Diamondbacks shortstop Chris Owings talks about his error in the Giants’ five-run fifth inning.
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Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin talks about his outing vs. the Giants and his struggles to retire Hunter Pence.
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The Arizona Diamondbacks dedicated Paul Goldschmidt Field in Goodyear on April 4, 2017. It’s the 39th “Diamonds Back” Field in Arizona. Video: Arizona Diamondbacks
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Former Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals slugger had an emergency brain procedure to address a brain hemorrhage.
USA TODAY Sports
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You can stream baseball online using MLB.TV, but the service does have restrictions.
Reviewed.com – Jeremy Stamas
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Diamondbacks shortstop Chris Owings delivered the game-winning hit on Sunday vs. the Giants.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about the hug he gave walk-off hero Chris Owings and about his first win in his new job.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke gave up two runs in five innings against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday at Chase Field.
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Diamondbacks insider Nick Piecoro and Jay Dieffenbach talk about the upcoming baseball season. The lineup appears to be solid. What about the pitching staff? Video: Cheryl Evans/azcentral sports
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USA TODAY Sports released its annual list of players to watch for in the upcoming season.
USA TODAY Sports
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The Diamondbacks had their photos taken on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 at Salt River Fields.
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Shelby Miller on his win vs. Padres
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ win over Padres
Manager Torey Lovullo after D-Backs split series vs. Dodgers
Robbie Ray on his 10-strikeout game vs. Dodgers
Shot Clock: Time to worry about Zack Greinke?
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ win 3-1 win over Dodgers
Taijuan Walker tosses five strong innings vs. Dodgers
D-Backs’ Chris Iannetta on facing Rich Hill, catching Taijuan Walker
Torey Lovullo on usage of Fernando Rodney vs. Dodgers on Saturday
D-Backs lefty Patrick Corbin talks about his outing vs. Dodgers
Torey Lovullo after D-Backs’ 7-1 loss to the Dodgers
D-Backs’ Zack Greinke on his loss vs. Dodgers
Why series vs. Dodgers is big for D-Backs
Greinke-Kershaw matchup is incredibly expensive
Shelby Miller says loss vs. Giants is ‘definitely on me’
Manager Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ rubber-match loss to Giants
Remembering the Diamondbacks’ championship rings
A.J. Pollock talks about his big catch in D-Backs’ win over Giants
Robbie Ray after tossing 6 2/3 shutout innings vs. Giants
Taijuan Walker discusses his errant throw vs. Giants
Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin describes personal performance
Shot Clock: NBA MVP and surprising D-Backs
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ sweep against the Indians
Diamondbacks’ hot start by the numbers
Zack Greinke after strong start vs. Indians
Torey Lovullo talks about the D-Backs’ win against the Indians
D-Backs’ Shelby Miller describes starting his 2017 season
Shot Clock: What D-Backs’ good start means
David Peralta on hot start: ‘We’re ready for anybody’
D-Backs manager Lovullo on starting year 3-1
D-Backs manager Lovullo on using humidor for baseballs
Taijuan Walker on his first D-Backs start
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ win over Giants
Shot Clock: Answer to D-Backs’ shortstop question?
Chris Owings talks about his fifth-inning error
Patrick Corbin after loss to Giants
Diamondbacks dedicate ‘Paul Goldschmidt Field’
Former Dodgers star Pedro Guerrero in critical condition
How to watch every baseball game in 2017
Chris Owings discusses his walk-off hit vs. Giants
Torey Lovullo on his emotional first win as D-Backs’ manager
Zack Greinke after his start vs. Giants on Opening Day
What is in store for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017?
MLB’s 100 Names to Know for 2017
Behind the scenes at Diamondbacks Photo Day
SAN DIEGO – Shelby Miller didn’t know the answer to the question – what team’s starting rotation had the best ERA in the National League? – but he figured it out right away, and he smiled and nodded when he did.
“Is it us?” he asked. “Nice.”
The Diamondbacks are 15 games into their season, early enough that one bad start could skew the numbers drastically. But their starting pitchers entered Wednesday with a 3.28 ERA, a hair better than the St. Louis Cardinals for the best mark in the league. Compare that to last season, when the rotation’s ERA of 5.38 was the second-worst in the National League through 15 games.
“I think we’re a very talented group,” Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin said. “I think we have five really good pitchers who every day are going to go out there and keep us in games. Everybody is feeling good. The ball is coming out well. And guys are, I think, pitching deeper into games and keeping us in ballgames.”
Most around the game wouldn’t consider the rotation’s success to be a major surprise. Each of the Diamondbacks’ five starters is good enough, generally speaking, to have a spot in the rotation of just about every team in the league. And each is accomplished at the big-league level in his own way.
But they all entered the year needing to demonstrate some degree of improvement off of last season. So far, at least, each of them has, although they’ve made only three starts apiece. And they all still have room for improvement.
The biggest jump has come from Miller, who struggled so badly during his first season with the Diamondbacks that they sent him to Triple-A at the All-Star break. This season, he has turned in three competitive outings, including a 7 1/3-inning, one-run performance on Tuesday night. His stuff is vastly improved from where it was a year ago.
“He’s definitely confident,” pitching coach Mike Butcher said. “He’s in a really good place. I know I keep saying the same thing, but he’s in a really good place mentally, physically, emotionally. (Tuesday night) was a big night for him to go out there and pitch well. It was just really good to see.”
Corbin has a 2.81 ERA and has thrown six innings twice. Taijuan Walker, who has six walks and 16 strikeouts in 16 innings, is coming off his best start, giving up just one run in five innings against the Dodgers, an outing that might have lasted longer if not for back tightness.
MORE ON ROTATION: Shelby Miller dominant in return to Petco Park
Right-hander Zack Greinke, who started Wednesday night, was coming off a bad outing against the Dodgers but had pitched competitively in each of his other two. Lefty Robbie Ray’s results (1.96 ERA) have been great, though he has battled control issues (a league-leading 12 walks).
Corbin says multiple factors could be involved with the staff’s across-the-board improvement, everything from pitchers’ arms feeling better and producing better stuff; to better pregame information from the club’s analytics department and pitching strategist Dan Haren; to the benefit of a fresh start after last season.
“All of that helps,” Corbin said. “I think it definitely helped, too, getting off to a better start this season where guys go out there and can build off the last start. I really think that helps when you see someone else go out there (and throw well).”
Said Ray: “It’s a credit to our offseason work and putting last year behind us and moving forward. I think that’s the biggest thing, just realizing this year is a new year. We always knew we had a good rotation, it’s just about putting it all together.”
The starters have managed to have success despite a defense behind them that has been shaky at times. The Diamondbacks have committed a league-worst 14 errors, and they rank second-to-last in the NL in defensive runs saved.
In addition to leading the league in ERA, the rotation is tied for the second-fewest home runs allowed and ranks fourth in strikeouts. There are, of course, some areas that could stand to improve, including the walk category, in which the Diamondbacks lead the league, though improvement from Ray alone would help there.
“Our team as a whole is playing good baseball and we’re all kind of vibing off of each other,” Miller said. “I think right now there’s a lot of things going on that are positive, and it’s all kind of falling into place. With our starters’ potential and how we’re pitching, we know we’re capable of it. It’s just about doing it more than anything.”
Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.
READ MORE FROM BICKLEY: D-Backs hang tough despite flaws in ace, closer
Diamondbacks at Padres
When: 6:10 p.m.
Where: Petco Park, San Diego.
Pitchers: Diamondbacks LHP Patrick Corbin (1-2, 2.81) vs. Padres LHP Clayton Richard (1-2, 3.60).
TV/Radio: FSAZ/KMVP-FM (98.7), KHOV-FM (105.1).
Corbin was in trouble throughout much of his start last week at Dodger Stadium, but he managed to navigate his way through six innings, giving up five runs (three earned). … He has just seven strikeouts and seven walks in 16 innings. … Corbin logged 13 2/3 innings against the Padres last season, posting a 3.95 ERA with six walks and 14 strikeouts. … Richard tossed eight scoreless innings against the Dodgers in his first start of the season but has allowed four earned runs over six innings in each of the past two. … Richard, who split last season between the Cubs and Padres, faced the Diamondbacks three times and had solid results, posting a 3.24 ERA in 16 2/3 innings. … Richard has a three-pitch mix, with a fastball around 90 mph, a slider and a change-up.
Friday: At Chase Field, 6:40 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Taijuan Walker (2-1, 3.94) vs. Dodgers LHP Alex Wood (1-0, 1.00).
Saturday: At Chase Field, 5:10 p.m., Diamondbacks LHP Robbie Ray (1-0, 1.96) vs. Dodgers RHP Kenta Maeda (1-1, 7.07).
Sunday: At Chase Field, 1:10 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Shelby Miller (2-1,3.50) vs. Dodgers RHP Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 2.12).