Preview: Game #118, Diamondbacks vs. Orioles

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Can tonight's game be any more exciting that last night's, which included four blown leads and a walk-off homer?

bal_medium

Miguel Gonzalez
RHP, 8-5, 3.91
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Randall Delgado
RHP, 8-5, 3.91

Diamondbacks line-up

  1. A.J. Pollock CF
  2. Adam Eaton, LF
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Aaron Hill, 2B
  5. Martin Prado, 3B
  6. Gerardo Parra, RF
  7. Wil Nieves, C
  8. Didi Gregorius, SS
  9. Randall Delgado, P

Today is International Left-Handers Day, which as a southpaw, is clearly something close to my heart. However, while the Diamondbacks have honored various other minority groups, there is no special celebration on the calendar for us. You'd think they could at least have arranged for our left-handers Corbin or Miley to start in tonight's game, but they are instead pitching immediately before and after the day, in what is clearly a deliberate slight aimed at our oppressed selves. I'm blaming Ken Kendrick. We'll just have to take consolation in cheering especially loud for the left-handers in the line-up tonight.

Kinda glad I didn't take 'charmer up on her offer of a recap swap, in what has got to be among the most entertaining games of the season so far (Baltimore fans: YMMV). Of course, the other side of it is, if we had played sound, fundamental baseball, it wouldn't have been as exciting. In particular, if we'd got the runner home from third with no outs, or if Goldschmidt had got either out on the groundball hit to him in the ninth. The latter is more evidence, to me, that Goldie is flagging: no surprise, when you realize he has started all but three games at first, now including 65 of the last 66, going back to May 27. Last year, he sat out 26 starts, so they're definitely pushing him harder.

Indeed, Gibson is putting out the same team that won last night. Could he be figuring out that a consistent line-up has advantages that obsessively playing platoon splits doesn't offer? Of course, we are facing another right-hander, so I'm not inclined to comment until we face another leftie; we certainly will on Saturday, the Pirates' Jeff Locke, Friday is TBA, it appears. And Gibson's options are limited because his bench today is Tuffy Gosewisch (right-hander like Nieves), Matt Davidson (same as Prado), Cliff Pennington (basically, Gregorius without the tan!) and Jason Kubel (hitting .134 with a .413 OPS over 32 games since June 23).

We'll see which Delgado shows up too. After a 2.14 ERA for his five July starts, his last couple have resulted in fourteen hits and ten runs (eight earned) in 11 innings, for a 6.55 ERA, although still with a decent K:BB ratio of 10:2. The BABIP has been a little high at .344, but Delgado has also allowed three home-runs in those 11 innings. Care to be against Chris Davis taking him deep again tonight? But Gonzalez has had his struggles of late too, going winless in his last three starts, with 13 ER in only 14.1 innings, on 23 hits and five walks. This one could go either way, I suspect.

Just keep winning, Diamondbacks. The Dodgers can't play .800 ball forever. Allegedly. Though their 38-8 streak is now four games better than any NL side has managed in a season since 2004, and hasn't been matched on the Senior Circuit in over 60 years, since the New York Giants at the end of the 1951 season, coming from 13 games back to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers on fellow Scot Bobby Thomson's "shot heard round the world." Kinda hard to keep up with something like that, not seen for multiple generations....

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