Game #16: Diamondbacks @ Rockies

Nagy, Putz, Bell, Collmenter, Reed, Ziegler, Hernandez, Reynolds and Sipp enjoy a dip at Coors - @CaseyWilcoxAZ, via Twitter

Hello again, NL West. Remember us? Seems like a while. Sure we'll be heartily sick of you by the end of the season, after we've seen yoo 70-80 times, but right now, you're still relatively fresh and interesting. And, in this case, quite cold.

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Ian Kennedy
RHP, 1-1, 5.79

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Jhoulys Chacin
RHP, 2-0, 1.96

D-backs line-up:

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

Hey, it's back to proper baseball, i.e. a line-up without a DH in it! Hooray ! And actually, it won't be quite as chilly as it has been in Denver - the picture above suggests some balmy Hawaiian vacation resort, rather than a place where they had a game snowed out a couple of days ago. But we're still apparently looking at a temperature in the forties for this one - and toward the lower end of them by the later innings. So if you see flames in the bullpen tonight, that'll be why. Hopefully, started in a manner involving Dinger and a can of gasoline. However, Brad Ziegler will likely get a ground-ball and put out the fire. It's what he does...

Continuing the inflammatory theme, as ZM already pointed out, the Rockies have also been on fire, though I wouldn't suggest they cancel those tee-times for October quite yet. Indeed, last year, after 15 games, the Dodgers were 12-3, and missed the post-season entirely. Proportionately, we're currently about three and a half strides into a 100m dash. So far, so good - for both Colorado and Arizona - but it's early days. Personally, I'll only be prepared to take their credentials more seriously after we see what they do this weekend, and whether they're still hitting .297. Of course, it's Coors, so we'll have to wait and find out whether we are playing with the squishy baseballs or the Super Balls.

Didi gets his second start, with Pennington covering 2B. I wonder if that's going to be the semi-standard pattern, against right-handed pitching at least, until Aaron Hill comes back? Pennington's bat thus far has been extremely flaccid, though his defense has been good enough he has still got a positive bWAR [thus far, the trade of him for Chris Young has been about a wash in terms of performance, though Pennington is about one-quarter of the cost. The next couple of weeks could be a "last man standing" head-to-head contest between them, to decide what happens when Hill and Willie Bloomquist come back [assuming Josh Wilson is first out the door].

Back to hitters have a fair degree of familiarity with the starting pitcher, as Kennedy started four times against the Rockies last season, and Chacin made three starts against us. The Rockie didn't get past the fifth inning in any of them, but got a trio of no-decisions, with a 2.77 ERA. Kennedy went 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA - the loss came courtesy of a pair of unearned runs. Colorado has seen him at a .272/.321/.442 line, and he's kept most of their big guns in check, i.e. Troy-boy has a .662 OPS, Cargon .600. Chacin is rather better against current D-backs: a .242/.338/.355 line, with Parra, Montero and Ross the only ones with more than six AB.

Be nice to start off against the NL West with a victory, and show up Colorado for the pretenders I strongly suspect - at least for now! - them to be.

Arizona Diamondbacks tickets

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