- Gerardo Parra, CF
- Martin Prado, LF
- Aaron Hill, 2B
- Miguel Montero, C
- Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
- Eric Chavez, 3B
- Cody Ross, RF
- Cliff Pennington, SS
- Trevor Cahill, P
We have our first guest recapper of the season taking over the SnakePit this afternoon, with azshadowwalker picking up the mouse, so stay tuned after the contest for that. You might also want to get to this one early, because there will be a special pre-game ceremony, honoring Joe Garagiola, Sr. He is retiring after 15 years as one of the color analysts for Diamondbacks' games, and a career covering no less than 58 years in broadcasting - we covered his life in detail, at the time his retirement was announced in February. Fox Sports Arizona are also showing the Garagiola edition of In My Own Words, both before (12:30 pm) and after (4:15 pm or so) today's game.
Garagiola will end his career by broadcasting two innings on Fox Sports Arizona this afternoon. The D-backs will honor him throughout the game and will show him signing off the broadcast alongside Bob Brenly and Steve Berthiaume live on dbTV after the fourth inning. Throughout the game, FSAZ will feature tributes from fellow broadcasters who worked with Joe, including Bob Costas, Vin Scully, Thom Brennaman, Rod Allen, Jody Jackson and Todd Walsh. Fans are also encouraged to tweet congratulations to Garagiola using the hashtag #ThankYouJoeG, and the best will be be shown on FOX Sports Arizona and dbTV.
And to the contest itself. I can't say I'm surprised we split the first two games, though I'd probably have flipped the results: each team's "rookie" beat the other's ace, setting up this one to be the decider. It'd certainly be nice for Arizona to take the series, and open the season going 8-4: while the cliche is, the season is a marathon and not a sprint, only one team that started 8-4 or better last year failed to make the playoffs (the Dodgers, who were 9-3). However, depending on how results go today, we could have as many as seven National League teams at that mark this year, so something has to give! We could also end the day anywhere from first to fourth in the West.
We've only seen Beckett once since 2008, which is something of a surprise. He got the win with 6.2 innings of one-run ball against us last September. However, Aaron Hill has a lot of experience from his days with Toronto, and has had a great deal of success: 15-for-40, with seven doubles and a home-run, so it's good to see Hill back in the starting line-up this afternoon, having proven with his near-HR last night, that gripping a bat is clearly not posing a major issue to him. The two Erics, Chavez and Hinske, also know Beckett well, with 20 at-bats apiece, but neither has an OPS over .600, which may be why they are on the bench today.
Cahill, on the other hand, will be thoroughly familiar with the Dodgers, since he faced them no less than five times in 2012. The results overall were good: they never beat Trevor, as he went 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA in 31.2 innings, with a K:BB ratio of 27:9. Despite that, though, the current LA batters have generally good numbers against Cahill, at a collective .291/.364/.442, which is an .805 OPS. Oddly, of all people with even a handful of at-bats, it's not Kemp or Gonzalez who have the best numbers, it's A.J. Ellis, who has gone 6-for-11 with a home-run off Trevor. At the other end, Ethier (2-for-14) is bordering on pwnage by Cahill.