Preview: Game #151, Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers

C'mon Brandon: make the Puig cry... - Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona now needs to beat Los Angeles tonight and tomorrow, unless we want to see Yasiel Puig celebrating on the field at Chase. Pardon me, I think I just threw up in my mouth.

lad_medium

Stephen Fife
RHP, 4-3, 3.38
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Brandon McCarthy
RHP, 4-9, 4.58

Diamondbacks line-up

  1. Adam Eaton, LF
  2. A.J. Pollock, CF
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Aaron Hill, 2B
  5. Miguel Montero, C
  6. Matt Davidson, 3B
  7. Gerardo Parra, RF
  8. Chris Owings, SS
  9. Brandon McCarthy, P

So, this is it, then. All room for error has been removed. Last might's meltdown by Patrick Corbin, while not exactly putting a damper on SnakePitFest (presented by the Asteroids), does mean that we need to win out the rest of the series, if we don't want to see the Dodgers celebrating at Chase Field. I would far rather read about it on ESPN the next morning, even though, since I'm going to be at work tonight and for tomorrow afternoon's game, it doesn't have quite the same personal degree of impact. Having dealt with the Dodgers fans at Chase last night, all I can say is, if they do win this evening, to any D-backs fans present: you have my sympathy.

I'm wondering if the team is being cautious with Brandon McCarthy, in terms of pitch counts. He has made eight starts since coming back off the DL, and has yet to go past 100 pitches. Of the eleven appearances before hitting the DL, he did so four times, topping out at a 115-pitch outing on April 9. Admittedly, his longer outings this year haven't exactly gone too well: when throwing 100 pitches or more, McCarthy is 0-4 in five starts, with a 6.28 ERA. Obviously, the really short ones haven't gone too well either, but when he is in the 80-99 pitch range, McCarthy has gone 4-3, with a 2.21 ERA

That seems a little odd: you'd generally expect a pitcher's numbers to be better when he goes deeper into a game, because if he sucks, he won't be around that long. However, it does seem that McCarthy doesn't actually struggle at the end of his outings. From the 76th pitch on, opponents hit .264 against him, significantly lower than his overall average. If there's a problem area for Brandon, it's getting out of the gates: over the first 25 pitches, batters swat him around at a .331 clip. It may be that the overall struggles long outings by McCarthy, reflect games where he had wobbly early innings, then settled down, but where the total numbers are skewed by the first couple of frames.

After last night, I'm certainly hoping he can make it through the first three without any serious damage, because by that point yesterday, we were six runs down and more or less out of it. I do have to say, the Dodgers' line-up is a lot more imposing when it contains Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez, than when it doesn't....

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