Preview: Game #91, Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers

USA TODAY Sports

If we lose tonight, our season is over. OVER, I tell you!

Nah, who am I trying to kid. We'll still be in first place.

lad_medium

Hyun-Jin Ryu
LHP, 7-3, 2.82
ari_medium

Tyler Skaggs
LHP, 2-1, 3.65

Diamondbacks Line-up

  1. A.J. Pollock, CF
  2. Aaron Hill, 2B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Cody Ross, LF
  5. Martin Prado, 3B
  6. Wil Nieves, C
  7. Gerardo Parra, RF
  8. Cliff Pennington, SS
  9. Tyler Skaggs, P

Not the best couple of games for the Diamondbacks, certainly. But if Skaggs can pitch as well as he did in his previous outing against the Rockies, and the BABIP gods take their foot off our necks for the evening, we can avoid the sweep and restore our lead in the West to 3 1/2 games. Certainly, part of what has been see here is head-to-head regression: the incredible record we've posted against the Dodgers over the last year wasn't going to continue forever, that's for sure. Even should we lose tonight, we will still own the season series 7-5, and either way, we won't be seeing them again until September, when the last two series versus LA take place.

A bunch of changes from last night's line-up. Days off for Miguel Montero, Adam Eaton, Didi Gregorius and Jason Kubel, as we turn loose the left-handed pitcher line-up. Not a bad thing for Eric Chavez, who is being cautious because the hip injury which caused him to be a late scratch last night is apparently in the same area as the oblique which required a DL stint. Gibson, however, says Chavez will be available off the bench if there's a big situation tonight. Or a brawl. Speaking of which, the Dodgers will be a man short, because Skip Schumaker's two-game suspension was upheld by MLB today, and starts tonight.

Couple of bits of news on our injured starters:

It's going to be very interesting to see what happens when they are deemed fit and ready to come back. Looks like McCarthy will be the most likely to return, and I would think that Randall Delgado would be the lucky recipient of a ticket to Reno. But if Skaggs pitches as well as he did in his first game then it's going to give the team pause for thought. Tyler would be the "obvious" candidate, but with the division race shaping up as increasingly-tight, we may need the absolute "best" pitchers in our rotation for the final two months of the season, seniority and salary be damned. Be a nice problem to have, certainly.

Tonight will be a significant test of Skaggs' mettle. Sure, beating up on the Rockies last time was nice. But he had an excellent debut outing, the first time he was up too, then allowed ten earned runs over 10.2 innings in his next pair of starts. So, I'm not quite prepared to anoint him with a rotation spot in permanent marker quite yet. That said, he seemed a different pitcher against Colorado: while some aspects were almost identical to that season debut (same number of hits, pitch count was one higher this time), Skaggs got through two more innings, helped by issuing only a single walk. More of the same tonight would be helpful.

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