Game #1: Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals

Happy #OpeningDay! - @Dbacks, via Twitter

And so, it begins! Welcome to the 2013 season of Arizona Diamondbacks baseball, which gets under way this evening with a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Chase Field. It's a rare appearance for the team on ESPN, so wherever you may be, you can watch this one.

Diamondbacks line-up

  1. Gerardo Parra, RF
  2. Martin Prado, 3B
  3. Aaron Hill, 2B
  4. Miguel Montero, C
  5. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  6. Jason Kubel, LF
  7. A.J. Pollock, CF
  8. Cliff Pennington, SS
  9. Ian Kennedy, P

Kennedy faced the Cardinals twice last year, but lost both decision, and was slapped around a bit, allowing a total of 11 runs over 13 innings of work. Current Cardinals have a line of .254/.365/.587 against him, in 63 at-bats, with Carlos Beltran (6-for-20 with two homers) the most familiar. They also have a K:BB rate of 10:9, so Kennedy will need to improve that. Opposing starter Adam Wainwright has one start against us since 2010, getting the win in August last year, allowing two runs over six innings. Current D-backs have hit .276/.323/.414 against him, Miggy (4-for-11 with a homer) having the best line. Paul Goldschmidt has the only other Arizona homer off Wainwright.

The Diamondbacks haven't lost on Opening Day since 2006, though all the games since have been close, with none of them decided by more than three runs, and the total margin in the six victories only ten runs. It has also been exactly the same length of time that Chris Young has been manning center field for us on Opening Day, so I hope his absence is not an omen. The last loss and non-Chris Young start, saw us with an outfield of Luis Gonzalez, Eric Byrnes and Shawn Green. All are now retired from the game.

There's another retired Diamondback to note, as Brandon Webb will be throwing out the first pitch before this evening's game. At least, he's scheduled to throw out the first pitch, and his agent says he has been throwing really well lately and a lot of teams are interested, but there'll probably be some kind of setback round about 6pm and he'll be a late scratch, to be replaced by a Golden Glover. Also at Chase, it's the opening of the Game Seven Grill, including the hottest wings in baseball, with the first person successfully to accomplish them (and receive the commemorative fire helmet that goes with the feat!), being Derrick Hall's son.

Those red eyes are not a photographic illusion...

There will be some changes in how we cover games at the 'Pit. None of these should have too much effect on the value of the SnakePit Dollar in your pocket, but just so you know. Gameday Threads will now be fairly bare-boned in terms of content (you people never read them anyway!), and will go up about 10 minutes before first pitch. However, these previews will be still have some meat for your entertainment, and will be posted well in advance, so pre-game chat will go there. Then, when the GDT goes up, we'll move, in an orderly fashion, over to it. Please remember to bring your drinks and coats with you..

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