Preview: Game #53, Diamondbacks @ Rangers [Take 2]

Rick Yeatts

Let's try this again, shall we?

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Brandon McCarthy
RHP, 2-3, 4.36

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Justin Grimm
RHP, 4-3, 4.05

Diamondbacks Line-up

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

Couple of changes to the line-up from yesterday's rain-out, even though it's the same starting pitchers as yesterday. The main cause is the renewed availability of Martin Prado, who has recovered from fouling the ball off his knee: yesterday's postponement allowed him to keep the current tie with Goldschmidt and Parra, all three men having missed only one game this season. He replaces Cliff Pennington today, and slots in higher up the order, at #5. Ross is dropped down a couple of spots to keep the whole leftie-rightie order acceptably mixed-up for Cap'n Kirk. Otherwise, though: same as it was.

Even though the Diamondbacks didn't play yesterday, it was still a good day, as only the Padres won in the NL West. With the Giants losing to the A's, and the Rockies to the (snigger!) Astros, we extended our lead in the division to 2.5 games over both of them. There could have been a double-header today - I believe the Rangers could have opted for that - but probably fortunate they didn't, as the Diamondbacks have to head to Chicago and get ready for another day-game tomorrow, so wouldn't want to hang around Arlington too long. Instead, Thursday August 15 might work: both teams are off, and we would be heading from Phoenix towards Pittsburgh, with Texas between home series.

Berthiaume is not a meteorologist, nor does he play one on TV, but with actual humidity in Arlington at 63% this morning, it's definitely going to be a shock to the system for our players, and probably a test of stamina for McCarthy. The prognosis for today is better, but there's still about a 20% chance of rain this afternoon, and according to the forecast, it's the kind of rain shown below. The bad news is, the forecast for Chicago on Friday and Saturday afternoons is not good, with a 70% chance of rain, similarly high humidity and a predicted thunderstorm for tomorrow. So enjoy today's game while you ca... Oh, never mind: it's not on TV, is it? :(

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And might as well, repost yesterday's preview, or at least the chunks which are still relevant. This will be the 28th time we've played the Rangers in franchise history, which will actually be the most of any American League club. The overall record hasn't been good: even after the Memorial Day sweep, Arizona are still only 10-17 against them, with our only previous series victory coming all the way back in June 1998. This begins a long stretch for the Diamondbacks: 15 14 games in 15 14 days, with only three of those at home, and nine against teams above .500. If we're still in first by the next off-day on June 13, I'll be more than satisfied.

McCarthy starts for the Diamondbacks, and is attempting to go through the whole month of May without tasting defeat. That would be "something of an improvement", to say the least, considering he went through the whole month of April without enjoying a victory. So far in his five May starts, McCarthy is 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA, and a K:BB ratio of 21:6 in 36.1 innings. He has been even better than that over his last three appearances, going 2-0 with an 0.38 ERA, having allowed precisely one run over those 24 innings. Admittedly, the BABIP of .217 has been helpful, especially considering a line-drive rate of 23%, but it's about time he enjoyed a bit of good luck.

Grimm is going to be an almost unknown quantity for the Diamondbacks, with a grand total of two PAs against him, across the entire roster. Cliff Pennington is responsible for both: he is 0-for-2, and thanks to Prado's return, isn't even in the line-up. Kubel gets the start at DH, making his first appearance of the year at the position - our last road series, against the Yankees, the position was occupied by Eric Hinske, Chavez, and Alfredo Marte starting one game. Goes to show how much things have changed: this will be Chaxez's 16th start in 26 May games, compared to only 12 in 27 April ones.

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