Preview: Game #98, Diamondbacks @ Giants

Christian Petersen

Randall Delgado takes the mound as we seek to avoid the sweep against Madison Bumgarner, with our lead in the West down to the slimmest possible. Yeah, not QUITE how we mentally scripted the first series after the break...

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Randall Delgado
RHP, 1-3, 3.92
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Madison Bumgarner
LHP, 10-5, 3.02

Diamondbacks line-up

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

The margin for error has gone. For the first time in over a month, there is a possibility the Diamondbacks may not end the day in first place. However, it is worth remembering that we have been exactly here before: when we were swept by the Pades in mid-June, and after we lost the first game against the Marlins at Chase Field. Still, it's not a situation in which I want to be. It would be somewhat helpful if the Nationals could stop giving the Dodgers late-inning leads. But our destiny remains in our own hands, and in particular, that of the offense, because scoring three runs over two games won't cut it. They got the hits yesterday; can they get them with RISP today?

Today's reader question:

Why, of course I do. :) I dug out the stats for all our position players who've gone to the All-Star Game for the past decade, beginning with the 2004 Midsummer Classic. Which wasn't actually that many, as we've sent more pitchers over that time, with the margin after this year being 9-7. Goldschmidt has obviously struggled in his first couple of games back, going 1-for-9 thus far: but what of the other D-backs? Did they have a hard time coming back to regular work? The results turn out to be pretty mixed. Here are the numbers for the first 10 games each man played after the break:

  • Luis Gonzalez (2005) - .257/.381/.314 = .695 OPS
  • Orlando Hudson (2007) - .216/.310/.243 = .553 OPS
  • Justin Upton (2009) - .256/.326/.487 = .813 OPS
  • Chris Young (2010) - .273/.347/.455 = .801 OPS
  • Justin Upton (2011) - .368/.400/.711 = 1.111 OPS
  • Miguel Montero (2011) - .344/.405/.656 = 1.062 OPS

After looking at the first two, I thought we might be on to something: clearly the All-Star Game "broke" Gonzo and O-Dawg! But then I looked at J-Up and CY in 2009-10, and they performed perfectly well. And J-Up and Miggy, who tag-teamed in 2011, came back and did extremely well. Maybe the real is is not whether you play in the All-Star Game or not, it's whether you play on the winning side in an All-Star Game. Because the American League won the games played by Gonzalez, Hudson and Goldschmidt, while the two best performances came after the National League were triumphant. Case closed. We only send players to the game in future, if they get to win. Sort it, Bud.

azshadowwalker on the guest recap, so be sure to stick around for that after the game. Will we still be in first? Only one way to find out...

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