Preview: Game #108, Diamondbacks @ Rangers

USA TODAY Sports

A brief stopover in Texas, as we head from Tampa to Boston. It sees the first major-league starts for both members of the battery, who are familiar with each other from Triple-A, and will renew their acquaintance in Arlington.

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Zeke Spruill
RHP, 0-0, 2.08
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Yu Darvish
RHP, 9-5, 2.80

Diamondbacks line-up

  1. Gerardo Parra, RF
  2. Adam Eaton, CF
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Eric Chavez,3B
  5. Cody Ross, LF
  6. Martin Prado, 2B
  7. Jason Kubel, DH
  8. Didi Gregorius, SS
  9. Tuffy Gosewisch, C
    Zeke Spruill, P

After nine seasons, 736 games and 2,767 plate appearances in the minors, Gosewisch finally gets to become a major-league ballplayer this evening in Texas. At 16 days short of his 30th birthday (a month younger than Miggy!), he'll be the second oldest player to make his major-league debut for us - Ken Huckaby was 30 years, 252 days, when he appeared for the team in 2001, striking out during his single at-bat for the D-backs. Wonder if he still got a World Series ring? I imagine Tuffy is catching because he's very familiar with Spruill, having caught him in Reno. Their last game together was a complete-game shutout, the Aces winning 1-0. Be nice to see that again tonight!

It's always kinda cool to see someone like this finally get their chance in the show, especially since Gosewisch is a local boy. Well, fairly local. He was born in Illinois, but went to Horizon High School in Scottsdale, and will be their fourth alumni to make the majors - the best known probably being Brandon Wood. And, of course, he also went to ASU. I could be pushing the boat out a bit far, but I'm speculating that this fact may get mentioned at some point during the broadcast tonight. Actually, I'm putting the over/under on exactly when, at about the middle of the second inning.

We should also say a bit more about Spruill, who will be making his first start as a Diamondback. Though he was called up to work out of the bullpen earlier in the year, making his major-league debut on June 21. In four relief appearances, he allowed one run in 4.1 innings, on four hits, with a K:BB ratio of 5:3. As was documented by John, he hasn't been scored upon in his last four starts for the Aces, which is an impressive feat in the Pacific Coast League. That said, he hasn't been dominating, with a K:BB ratio of only 34:24 in 72.1 innings, so he'll need to execute his pitches tonight if he's to have success against a stacked Rangers line-up.

Overall, I just don't know what to expect from this team any more. The past five games has seen them look really good twice, outscoring the opposition by a margin of 17-0, but largely look flat and uninterested in the other three (with the honorable and obvious exception of Patrick Corbin). I guess the good news is, we know how well this team can play: it's a question of whether they can do so on a consistent basis. Because it would be very nice if we could put together the sort of run constructed by both the Rays and Dodgers of late, consistently performing at that level. And when I say, "nice," I mean "almost essential", as today's game leaves us with one-third of the schedule left.

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