- A.J. Pollock, CF
- Gerardo Parra, LF
- Martin Prado, 3B
- Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
- Cody Ross, RF
- Wil Nieves, C
- Josh Wilson, 2B
- Cliff Pennington. SS
- Trevor Cahill
Hang on: didn't we just see these guys? And this very match-up, indeed? Yep, it was just last Saturday, in fact, when de la Rosa took on Cahill, and edged him by a score of 4-3. That day, Arizona fell behind early, but scored two in the eighth, one in the ninth and Wil Nieves flew out to right field for the final out, stranding the tying run at third-base. Just another one in the narrow series of defeats we've provided over the past three weeks or so. But after the events in San Francisco, I think I speak for everyone when I say I would be thoroughly in favor of a nice, blow-out win for Arizona tonight.
The last time we had one of those was April 10, when we hammered the Pirates 10-2. Since then, every one of our six victories have involved one or more of the following: a) a save situation, b) extra innings, c) a one-run win. It's very reminiscent of 2007, when there was a similarly nail-biting stretch from April 8-29. Over that time, the Diamondbacks won 11 games, with Jose Valverde getting eight saves, Brandon Lyon one, and the other two came in walk-off victories. Those SnakePit veterans who were around for that campaign probably still bear the scars of that season on their intestinal tract.
It'll help things if we get more swings like this out of the Rockies:
[H/T Dallas D'Back Fan] This was measured as the worst swing of the entire 2011 season, the pitch being a smidge short of five feet from the center of the strike-zone. It was taken by Jonathan Herrera off the Braves' Tim Hudson and, in case you hadn't guessed, is what happens when a hit and run meets a pitch-out, and the hitter refuses to back down from the resulting challenge. Herrera is still with the Rockies and is batting .348, so seems to have mastered the contact thing a little better now.
For us, we have the Cliff line-up tonight. It's not called that because of Pennington's presence, more because the bottom of the order falls off one. Though, actually, we are in a sad state where Nieves' OPS is actually close to 140 points better than Miguel Montero's this season. With a left-handed pitcher on the mound, it comes close to making sense. Pennington... Well, let's just say things could be worse. No, really. Of the 235 players with 50+ PAs this season, there are actually 17 with a lower OPS than his .505. That goes all the way to the Dodgers' Luis Cruz, who is 4-for-46 with one walk and no-extra base hits, for a .087/.122/.087 line, an OPS almost 300 points worse, at .209.
On the Rockies side, they have put Todd Helton on the disabled list, as ZM noted in his preview. More interesting for Diamondbacks' fans, called up to replace him is former Arizona player, Ryan Wheeler, a.k.a. "Good" Wheeler. Pleased to see him back in the big-leagues: let's just hope he does absolutely nothing over the next four games. If we can take three of four, we'll be tied with Colorado, so let's aim for that, though I'd be quite happy to settle for the sweep...