Game #13: Diamondbacks @ Yankees

#Dbacks at Yankee Stadium with subway train passing behind signage in RF - @BertDbacks, via Twitter

Having defeated the Evil Empire (TM) in their Western incarnation, we now head for the Death Star to take on the true Heart of Darkness. Though, as ZM pointed out in his preview, these are not your father's Yankees. They are, however, still the Yankees.

ari_medium


Brandon McCarthy
RHP, 0-1, 7.71

nyy_medium


Ivan Nova
RHP, 0-1, 7.71

D-backs line-up:

  1. Gerardo Parra, CF
  2. Martin Prado, 2B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Miguel Montero, C
  5. Cody Ross, RF
  6. Eric Chavez, 3B
  7. Eric Hinske, DH
  8. A.J. Pollock, LF
  9. Cliff Pennington, SS
    + McCarthy P

So, Hinske gets the honor of being our first DH of the season. No sign of Did Gregorius in the line-up, which makes sense, given he was only just called up - I'm not sure if he will even be with the team at Yankee Stadium in time for the game. Probably be there, but only just, going by Nick Piecoro's Tweet at 12:45 today:

Thank heavens for Prado, who makes his first start for Arizona over at second-base, following eight starts at third and four in left-field. Those spots are filled by Chavez and Pollock respectively this afternoon.

Yankee Stadium hasn't exactly been a happy hunting ground for the Diamondbacks. Indeed, including the 2001 World Series, Arizona is 1-8 in franchise history there. The sole victory came in June 2002, when Miguel Batista beat Mike Mussina. It was perhaps most memorable for Byung-Hyun Kim getting the save in front of an understandably hostile crowd, then hurling the ball into the left-field bleachers, saying afterward through his interpreter, "It was just an unconscious thing. It would have been a shame, a loss of face, if it didn't get over the wall." So it has been close to 11 years since we won: we were swept the last time, in 2007, though there's no survivors from that Arizona team.

Thinking about McCarthy, his nomadic status is unique, because good starting pitchers normally tend to stick in one place. Among active starters with an ERA+ of 100 or better in their first eight seasons, Brandon is the sole pitcher to appear for four different teams over that time. His first couple of outings for the Diamondbacks have been a tad shaky - as ZM also noted, the K's have been less than expected, and the BABIP has been excessive. However, much the same can be said of Nova's. The current Yankees are .267/.326/.383 against him, while there are no D-backs who have seen Nova more than five times.

The Yankees haven't had a losing season - or even lost more than 74 games - for almost as long as the Pirates haven't had a winning one, the last time they finished below .500 being 1995. But they currently have $82.5 million in this year's salary sitting on the DL - that's virtually the same as the entire Diamondbacks roster - and Satchel Paige's famous quote, "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you," would seem entirely appropriate for this roster. Not a team to take lightly, certainly; however, I have a feeling they are weaker than any Yankees team Arizona has ever faced, and I hope we can take advantage. Especially since it's my birthday!

Finally, there'll definitely be something unusual taking place at tonight's game, following the horrible events yesterday:

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