Preview: Game #116, Diamondbacks vs. Mets

Matt Davidson hits a two-run homer during the Futures Game last month. - USA TODAY Sports

So, we finally won a series, against the Rays - albeit a two-game one. Can we now take the next step and win our first three-game series of the second half?

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Jonathon Niese
LHP, 3-6, 4.32
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Zeke Spruill
RHP, 0-1, 6.48

Diamondbacks line-up

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

I can't say I'm too optimistic about the result of this afternoon's game, as Niese was throwing pretty well immediately before he was sent to the DL with a should injury, after being pulled on May 20. Excluding that truncated start, over his previous five games, Niese had a 1.93 ERA. Of course, there's always the question of how well he has recovered from the injury, and whether he will be able to get right back to the form he showed in early May - it has been a while, after all. For what it's worth, he made three minor-league rehab starts, throwing a total of 11 innings and allowing three ER on nine hits and four walks: imagine he'll be able to throw about 100 pitches today.

On our side, Spruill will look to rebound from a tough first start in which he was burned by the long-ball, allowing three home-runs in four innings of work, and five earned runs overall against the Rangers. His start was skipped the last time out, so he'll be pitching on nine days' rest this afternoon. Spruill said this doesn't worry him: "I'll be fine, really. I'm just worried about getting into better pitcher's counts, not falling behind. I want to throw my breaking ball and changeup a lot more consistently in the strike zone, too." Probably wise. He'll be working to his 'personal catcher, Gosewisch again: something something ASU...

Matt Davidson is still on his way to Phoenix: it seems his flight touches down in Phoenix in a few minutes, at 11:35, and I'm sure he'll be rushed straight to the park. Be amusing if he comes off the bench to pinch-hit [and be even better if he smacks a home-run!]. Assuming de la Rosa is on the same plane, I doubt he'll be available in relief, so the bullpen is going to be rather thin today: definitely hoping that Spruill goes deeper into the game than he did last time, or it's going to leave our relievers wheezing a little for the three-game series against the Orioles, which starts at Chase tomorrow night.

Mrs. SnakePit and I are actually going to the game, courtesy of the Asteroids, so many thanks to them. That's another reason to hope Davidson does get into the game, so we can say we were there! Elsewhere, the Dodgers face the Rays, looking for the sweep - and with Kershaw starting for Los Angeles, I wouldn't be inclined to bet against it. Just keep winning, Diamondbacks. Oh, and Breaking Bad starts tonight, I believe. Mrs. SnakePit and Snakepit Jr are big fans. Not quite sure how that happened, since Mrs and I stopped watching the show after the first series, largely because she didn't like it...

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