I suppose I should have done some kind of series preview on the off-day yesterday - however, don't know about you, but it was very pleasant not to have to think about baseball in any significant way. I was thus able to spend the evening catching up on the unwatched DVD pile, rather than agonizing about the latest implosion by our starting pitcher, offense or bullpen. Thanks to 'charmer, 'Skins ans Azreous, however, for their sterling work and interesting articles posted on the off-day, which tided us over nicely.
Back to the "grind" - as Arizona manager, past and present, seem fond of calling it - again today, and the Diamondbacks head off on the first east-coast jaunt of the season. This sees stops in Atlanta and Florida, before heading back to the West coast for a series in Oakland. The Braves have a dead-even record thus far, with their pitching (ERA+ 109) being more impressive than their hitting (OPS+ 95). We do get to dodge ace Jair Jurrjens, who has an ERA of 2.06 in eight starts, but face the middle of their rotation in Vazquez, Kawakami and Lowe.
Chipper Jones leads the Braves' offense, doing what he has done for most of his career, getting on base at a .437 clip, and Brian McCann behind the plate is as solid with the bat as any catcher. The team doesn't appear to have a real power threat as yet - no-one has got more than three homers so far. However, that number is shared by no less than six different players, with another four just one behind.
Doug Davis was unlucky last time, pitching six innings against the Nationals, and allowing one earned run - it was enough to get him tagged with the loss and sink his record to 2-5. Sadly, of the all the starting pitchers in the majors with losing records, we have the #1, #4 and #8 best ERAs, in Haren (2.09), Davis (3.25) and Scherzer (3.98). The only way Davis has won so far this season is by pitching seven and eight shutout innings, a depressing indictment of our offense.
Vazquez hasn't faced Arizona in over six years, having mostly been in the AL since, except for his one-year stint with the Diamondbacks, of course. His three seasons with the White Sox were average to good, but the Dodgers and Giants have had some success against him this season [though San Franciso also found themselves on the receiving end of eight shutout innings]. So we'll have to see what the offense can do; the Reds series has not exactly filled me with optimism.
- Lopez 2B
- Parra LF
- Upton RF
- Reynolds 3B
- Drew SS
- Young CF
- Whitesell 1B
- Snyder C
- Davis P
Call it the AA-Team, as five members of this starting line-up failed to bother themselves with Triple-A on the way to the majors. Won't be about for much of this one, between work and a somewhat roundabout journey home [I'm bussing it, since Mrs. SnakePit is over at Chandler Cinemas], but will hopefully make it home in time for the final inning and a recap!