Preview: Game #58, Diamondbacks @ Cardinals

View of the new Busch Stadium from 630 feet at the top of the Arch. Very cool - @CindyBrunsonAZ, via Twitter

Hopefully, tonight will go a little better than last night, m'kay? Tyler Skaggs starts, facing a prospect of equal or lesser value.

ari_medium


Tyler Skaggs
RHP, 1-0, 0.00

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Michael Wacha
RHP, 0-0, 1.29

Diamondbacks Line-up

  1. Gerardo Parra, RF
  2. Didi Gregorius, SS
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Miguel Montero, C
  5. Martin Prado, 3B
  6. Jason Kubel, LF
  7. Willie Bloomquist, 2B
  8. A.J. Pollock, CF
  9. Tyler Skaggs, P

Ok, first things first. It's pronounced "WOK-a". Just imitate a PacMan machine and you'll be golden. Kids, ask your parents what one of those is. Or look it up on Wikipedia.

This will be Skaggs' second start of 2013: coincidentally, for the second time, he'll go up against the opposition's top pitching prospect. Last time, it was the Rangers' Martin Perez, whom was defeated and sent packing on Memorial Day: now, it's Wacha. The Cardinals prospect was ranked a few spots higher in MLB.com's top 100 prospects, coming in at #76, compared to Perez's #88, but he's still a long way behind Skaggs' top-ten placement. As last time, both pitchers were also born in 1991, but it's even closer today, both being born in the same month - Wacha is the elder, by less than two weeks, having been born on the first of July, rather than the twelfth.

However, Wacha was picked out of college, so has three years less professional experience than Skaggs, having only been picked in last June's draft. He certainly made a splash, through seven innings of one-run ball in his debut, walking none and facing two batters over the minimum. However, that was against Kansas City, who are currently on pace to go 69-93. Skaggs' debut, blanking the team with the best record in the American League, was probably more impressive. But he'll need to do a better job of executing his pitches against the Cardinals than Trevor Cahill, though a more credible strike-zone would help.

The "Prado in the #2 spot" experiment we saw yesterday appears to have had a short shelf-life, after Prado went 0-for-4, with Gregorius back there again today. It might be that they want the #2 guy to see a few more pitches: last night, Prado's four plate-appearances lasted a total of 10 pitches, while Didi's, down in the #7 hole, took 22. It's interesting to look at the numbers. As we know, Prado rarely swings at the first pitch - only 14% of the time, compared to league average which is twice that. But his PAs have lasted an average of 3.67 pitches, below league average (3.82). On the other hand, leadoff man Parra is even lower, at 3.55. So.... #Gibbyball?

I'll be taking my usual Tuesday night off, as we have movie night at SnakePit Towers. Probably going to involve The Wicker Tree, the long-awaited (close to 40 years!) sequel to cult classic, The Wicker Man. I think the creator finally felt the need to make it, after seeing his vision get destroyed by the Hollywood remake starring Nicolas Cage. "OH, NO! NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES! AAAAAHHHHH! OH, THEY'RE IN MY EYES! MY EYES! AAAAHHHHH! AAAAAGGHHH!" While I have some concerns about the sequel, it won't have to do very much to be an improvement on that. BattleMoses will bring you the recap after this one.

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