FanPost

Tonight's matchups

Of the 9 D-backs (none pitchers) that have faced Carlos Villanueva, only 4 have hits (Ross, Kubel, Prado, and Nieves). SSS applies, though, as only Ross has more than 10 plate appearances. He's gone 5 for 8, with 1 HR and 2 doubles, and 3 walks. If there was ever a time to start him against the RHP, this is it. Kubel is 3 for 8, but has struck out 3 times. Prado is 3 for 7. I'm guessing Nieves starts over Miggy again, although not because of the matchup. Nieves was just OK with the bat against the RHP last night (two of his three hits probably should have been outs), but he won't seriously hurt the team offensively. Meanwhile, if Kubel starts again I may just move to Australia. Seriously, even the oft complained about Cliff Pennington has a positive value by both versions of WAR, while Kubel's is negative. (And fWAR, which in my understanding is less dependent of defensive metrics, has him as the worst on the team, with -0.7.)

Wade Miley inexplicably (OK, it was pretty easy to understand) was pulled after four decent innings in San Francisco. So he should be rested and ready to eat innings and give the bullpen a break after yet another extra inning game. Hopefully Alfonso Soriano hasn't made up his mind about the trade yet, and needs another night off to think about it. He owns Miley, with 2 home runs in 5 at bats. Miley's start against the Cubs on May 31st was actually the turning point for him; he gave up 7 runs in 3 innings, but with the bullpen worn out, had to continue on, and threw 4 scoreless innings. Since then, he has gone 3-3, his ERA has dropped almost a full run, and he's thrown quality starts in 6 of 9 starts. Had he not been pulled early in an attempt to get some offense, his ERA might well be under 4 at this point. (And I think we all agree that we would rather have seen Gibby pull Kennedy for a pinch hitter with the bases loaded last night, but hind sight is always 20/20, or 20/15 if you're Wade Boggs.)

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