Preview: Game #76, Diamondbacks @ Nationals

Rob Carr

Into the NL East go the Diamondbacks, beginning a tough stretch that sees them playing every day until the All-Star break. The 10-game road trip which starts that off, begins this evening in Washington.

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Trevor Cahill
RHP, 3-8, 3.92
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Gio Gonzalez
LHP, 3-3, 3.34

Diamondbacks Line-up

  1. Willie Bloomquist, SS
  2. Aaron Hill, 2B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Miguel Montero, C
  5. Cody Ross, LF
  6. Martin Prado, 3B
  7. Gerardo Parra, RF
  8. A.J. Pollock, CF
  9. Trevor Cahill, P

Aaron Hill returns to the Diamondbacks line-up this afternoon, and immediately gets plugged right into the #2 spot. It's amazing how much better that makes things look, from the point of view of offense - even if it does mean that, because we are facing a left-hander, we get Willie B batting leadoff [actually only the second time we've seen that this season]. Prado is also back in the line-up at third, a return which seems just about pre-destined after Cliff Pennington clanked the first ball hit to him at third-base on Sunday. Don't think that's an experiment we will see being repeated at any time in the near future.

Next, some good news concerning Thursday's game. Well, and some bad. Starting with the former: It was not originally going to be televised by Fox Sports Arizona, has now been added to the schedule. That's mainly because it features Patrick Corbin making another stab at getting his 10th win, and taking his record to 10-0, unprecedented in Diamondbacks history. The bad news? The game still starts at 1:05pm Arizona time, so those of us here with day jobs will still be on Gameday yelling, "WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT? WHAT JUST HAPPENED? at cryptic (but likely gloomy) comments in the Gameday Thread. While it'll be replayed in the evening, that just won't be the same...

Elsewhere, J.J. Putz should have completed his rehab work, throwing an inning for the Aces this afternoon in the second of his back-to-back appearances. He led off with a walk, then got a pair of ground-balls which erased the runner and ended the inning respectively. He is now apparently headed back to Phoenix for evaluation, and isn't sure whereabout he'll pitch next. However, assuming there are no ill-effects from these consecutive outings, it's not too much of a stretch to think that he'll join the team in Washington at some point this series. Not sure what the roster move will be: probably be Zeke Spruill going back down, though it could be Will Harris. Speaking of closers:

Translated from the Gibby: I've a feeling this means, "Bell is slightly behind Josh Wilson in terms of pitching a save situation this evening." Which is saying something, considering Wilson was DFA'd during the Cincinnati series. I'd expect Hernandez to get the call tonight if the opportunity arises, with Ziegler getting any important outs in the eighth, because I do not want anyone "working on mechanical corrections" to be found in the same zip-code as a high-leverage situation. If Bell is going to give up any home-runs - and given the performance in his last five outings, that's a certainty - it should be in mop-up duty.

Right, better get this posted, since it's an early game and I already got distracted by the Hinske suspension thing. BattleMoses on the recaps, see you for that.

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