Well, there is one area in which our pitching staff - especially our relief arms - are #1 in the National League. Remember the 8th inning horrors of last season? Well, they have yet to rear their ugly head in 2010. Thus far, the Diamondbacks pitching staff have allowed just two eighth-inning runs in 15 attempts, the lowest figure of any NL outfit. What's that? The ninth inning? Er... Um... Did I mention the eighth inning? Ok, you got me: in the ninth, we have allowed 18 runs, seven more than the next worst team.
Lineups and stuff for the opener against the Phillies, after the jump.
- Kelly Johnson 2B
- Stephen Drew SS
- Justin Upton RF
- Mark Reynolds 3B
- Adam LaRoche 1B
- Chris Young CF
- Cole Gillespie LF
- Chris Snyder C
- Kris Benson RHP
First start for Cole Gillespie, preferred over Gerardo Parra because the Phillies are sending up a lefty: no great shock as after 101 ABs, Parra is witthout an extra-base hit and has a .465 OPS against southpaws. We have yet to beat a left-handed starter this season, in three attempts, though we haven't been hitting them that badly [sOPS+ of 102]. Between that and my 0-4 record as a recapper, we'll be hoping for things to turn around tonight.
Jack Magruder of FoxSportsArizona.com reckons it's a good time for us to play them. We miss Roy Halladay, and JA Happ is on the DL, along with Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton and closer Brad Lidge, while Placido Polanco was hit on the elbow by a pitch Wednesday. Still, they rank third in runs scored per game, and 13th in runs allowed, which would be why they are tied with the Cardinals for the best record in the National League. Kris Benson will need to be at his craftiest to keep things in check.
If I'm not mistaken, this evening's game is not televised. However, I will be providing an eye-witness report, as I'll be at the game along with soco. I trust 'charmer will be keeping things in check - if you know what I mean and I think you do - here, as soco and I make plans for the future domination of the SB Nation. Or, more likely, eat hot-dogs and make sarcastic nerd references. Boy, bet you wish you were going to be there, don't you? Anyway, the recap will thus be a little late,
but in honor of Shakespeare's birthday, will be in iambic pentameter. Er, let's not overstretch ourselves this early in the season, shall we?