Game #18: Diamondbacks @ Rockies

Dustin Bradford

Point to ponder. We may have gone 1-4 on this road-trip, but the four defeats are by a combined margin of just six runs. Time to turn it around, but will the offense show up at Coors today?

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Brandon McCarthy
RHP, 0-2, 7.47

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Juan Nicasio
LHP, 2-0, 5.63

D-backs line-up:

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

That definitely feels like a better starting line-up than the one which managed zero RBI yesterday [all three runs being driven in off the bench] It has been a very disappoint road-trip for the hitters. In regulation innings, they've managed only ten runs in five contests - with one 12th-inning swing of the bat, Eric Chavez brought as many runs home as we've managed in any other game this week! And overall, going back to last Sunday's squeaker over the Dodgers at Chase, Arizona are hitting a flat and unenthusiastic, .214/.248/.335. I'd really like to see that turn around, today, before we come back to Chase to take on the Giants.

Of course, an equal chunk will be on the enigmatic McCarthy, who we trust returned safe and sound from his cathartic therapy session, while in New York. It'll be his first experience of pitching in Coors, and getting off to a good start in the early innings is likely going to be important, because the past couple of games, it has seemed almost as if the hitters give up after we go behind. Not quite the tenacity and never-say-die spirit we expected. Nicasio has faced Arizona twice, both last year, but didn't complete five innings either time, allowing seven earned runs in 7.1 innings. However, no-one on the current roster has more than six PAs against him.

Do wonder how long Montero may be for the clean-up spot, as he seems to be struggling really badly at the plate of late. He was batting .300 through the end of the Pirates series, but since then has fallen off a cliff, hitting 3-for-25, with a double his only extra-base knock. His season average is now down to .218. Of course, there's no credible alternative, so we just have to hope Miggy climbs out of his slump sooner, rather than later But there's no particular reason he needs to go through it in the heart of the order. Today, for instance, I'd maybe have swapped him and Chavez in this line-up, take some pressure off him.

And finally, a small bit of tooting on one's own brass instrument. Hopefully my next article will be "How Brandon McCarthy turned things around".

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