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Gameday Thread, #5: 4/6 vs. Cubs

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ari_medium


Armando Galarraga
RHP, 0-0, N/A











chc_medium


Ryan Dempster
RHP, 0-1, 8.10




The lost game on Sunday has just resulted in the whole rotation being pushed back a day, so our #5 now faces the Cubs' Opening Day starter in Dempster - though the six earned runs in 6.2 innings against the Pirates he allowed there wasn't exactly ace-like. GIbson decided to go with Galarraga instead of skipping him for Ian Kennedy, who will get to start the home opener on Friday. Gibson said, "I've been watching all his bullpens, and he's been throwing the ball better and better. I think it's important to have Armando throw right now." Hopefully, this will translate into a win for the Diamondbacks; getting swept by the Cubs would not be a good way to end our first full series.


Line-up and stuff are below

  1. Willie Bloomquist SS
  2. Chris Young CF
  3. Kelly Johnson 2B
  4. Justin Upton RF
  5. Miguel Montero C
  6. Melvin Mora 3B
  7. Juan Miranda 1B
  8. Gerardo Parra LF
  9. Armando Galarraga RHP

Miranda seems to be the first-baseman of choice, at least for now, according to Gibson. “He’ll probably get most of the starts, the majority of them right now. I want to give him a chance to see how he can play. He’s been behind a guy in New York (Mark Teixeira) for a while. I’ll keep mixing it up, though." Mora back in the line-up at third, having come off the bench yesterday and broken his zero-for-the-season with a hit. Parra continues to get the starts in left-field, but having gone 3-for-14, with a .598 OPS, he needs to pick up the production if he's going to prove a viable option.

Through the front four games, offensively the Diamondbacks are about middle of the pack: the OPS of .714 is eighth. However, the K:BB ratio has improved significantly, albeit with the usual small sample-size warning: after four last year, Arizona were at 32:11, compared to 29:16 this season. Perhaps surprisingly - especially given the spring-training performance - they lead the lead in stolen-bases, with seven in eight attempts, mostly thanks to the four from Bloomquist. However, despite that, of the eight times he has been on base, he has only scored twice - and one of those was his own HR.

That's been the problem: driving runners in. We've been averaging a dozen plate appearances with runners in scoring position per game (league average last year was 10.2), but have gone 6-for-42, with a .472 OPS. That won't persist over the long-term - the worst in the NL last year was the Nationals' .713 - so eventually the hits will start to come. This afternoon in Chicago would be a nice time for it to happen, as a 2-3 road-trip to open the season certainly looks a hell of a lot better than 1-4.