Preview: Game #85, Diamondbacks @ Mets

USA TODAY Sports

Happy Fourth of July, people. Fancy some baseball with your breakfast?

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Ian Kennedy
RHP, 3-4, 5.36
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Dillon Gee
RHP, 6-7, 4.60

Diamondbacks Line-up

  1. Tony Campana, CF
  2. Martin Prado, 2B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Eric Chavez, 3B
  5. Cody Ross, RF
  6. Gerardo Parra, RF
  7. Wil Nieves, C
  8. Cliff Pennington, SS
  9. Ian Kennedy, P

I am not a morning person [I may have mentioned this, in passing, once or twice before]. But this particular morning game has thrown a special spoke in my wheel, coming on a weekday. I am actually working today - one of the perils of being indispensable (okay, being the sole guy scheduled for the evening hours. Tomato, tomatoe) - but that doesn't mean I have to get up. Or like it. Still, misery loves company, and I see from The Twitter that at least two other SnakePit editors have apparently joined me in honoring this great nation, by also being up at an ungodly hour and moving around.

Good to see Parra back in the line-up, having missed a couple of days following an up-close and personal meeting between the Citi Field warning track and his face. Despite the presence alongside him of Campana, it's still not quite the Ultimate Outfield (defensively and with regard to speed, anyway), as there's no room for A.J. Pollock - instead, it's Ross in left. Which is, itself, a bit curious, because there's a right-hander on the mound, and one would have expected to see Jason Kubel there. Cody's OPS this year vs. RHP is .543, compared to Kubel's .766, and that's largely the way they've been used this year - basically, as a $13.5 million platoon.

Miguel Montero gets a day off, which is something I'd like to see more off, particularly after a June where he caught 20 consecutive games at one point. Still, it' s understandable, as Montero's bat has certainly been a lot better of late - he wasn't retired once last night, putting some really good at-bats against a very tough opposing starter, and has got his season average up to .228, the best it has been since April 18. Still would like it to be 40-50 points higher, of course, but at least it's going in the right direction. Since May 26, Montero's line is .282..358/.402, which is about what we'd be expecting from our long-term catcher.

Last game of a rough road-trip, and even a victory this morning (look, it's morning here - I don't care what time it is where they're playing the game) would still mean it only reached 3-7. But in the bigger picture, we started the lengthy road-trip with a three-game lead in the NL West, and if we can go back home with that almost unchanged [it currently sites at 2.5 games] and 10 more games crossed off the schedule, then the trip will have to be considered, if not a success, then at least somewhat adequate. A split on the road for the final set, against the Mets, would give us some momentum as we head towards the All-Star break.

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