Preview: Game #60, Diamondbacks @ Cardinals

Here we Gold again... - Dilip Vishwanat

Paul Goldschmidt in June: 9-for-23, two HR, 12 RBI and a line of .391/.481/.739, for a 1.221. When he gets a hit this season, Arizona are 29-13. When he doesn't, we are 5-12.

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Ian Kennedy
RHP, 3-3, 4.74

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Shelby Miller
RHP, 6-3, 1.82

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. A.J. Pollock, CF
  8. Cliff Pennington, 2B
  9. Ian Kennedy, P

Baseball's a funny old game, innit? In the opening contest, the Diamondbacks were completely out-classed by the Cardinals in just about every aspect of the game. But, here we sit, less than 48 hours later: we have taken the last two, to guarantee at least a split, and with a chance to take three of four, on the road, from the team with the best record in baseball. Maybe we should be thanking Jordan Baker, not pillorying him? After all, it was his blown call in the second game, which caused the Cardinals to burn through their bullpen in a losing cause, and left their pitching horribly exposed in the latter stages of yesterday's match-up. Who'd have thought it?

Regardless of the cause, this feels like a "house money" game. I would have happily settled to take two out of these four games before the series started, and that's already assured, which is a very comfortable situation to be in (and a most unexpected one, compared to the gloom 'n' doom which circled the SnakePit on Monday night). Of course, I can't help being greedy and wanting more. A third victory would be particularly dandy, and give us additional momentum going into this weekend's series against the wobbling Giants. As the intro paragraph notes, Goldschmidt getting a hit would be helpful. :)

Miller, however, has been the Cardinals' version of Patrick Corbin this year, a rookie who has performed very well, and occasionally brilliantly. Most notably, on May 10th he came one hit away from a perfect game against the powerful Rockies' line-up, which has scored more runs this year than any other NL team (and not just in Coors, as the Reds found out yesterday). He has held opposing hitters to an average barely above the Uecker Line at .203, struck out better than a batter per inning and only allowed four home-runs in almost 70 innings. So it's not going to be easy, and anyone expecting otherwise is an idiot, because this kid is good.

Kennedy has certainly been consistent of late, with his season ERA sitting in the same half-run range, from 4.70 to 5.20, which it has occupied for the past seven starts, since April 24. That really isn't very good, but the Diamondbacks are 4-3 in those games, and 6-5 overall this year. Though Kennedy's last start, the 12-4 win in Chicago, was the first time since Opening Day one of his appearances was decided by a final score of greater than two runs, so he has been keeping the team in games. But we should really be getting a quality start more often than not from Kennedy, which hasn't been the case to date.

Elsewhere, the Rockies, now in second place, host the Padres, while the Giants enjoy their second off-day of the week. It's also the draft this evening, taking place more or less simultaneously with the game. To avoid confusion, we will be running two "gameday threads," one to cover the game, the other to follow the draft as it progresses through the first two rounds. Keep an eye open for those.

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