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Preview, Game #28: Diamondbacks vs. Giants

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After the most irritating loss of the season last night, the D-backs will attempt to avoid a series sweep at Chase Field, by winning their ninth consecutive finale.

Josh Wilsom seeks to avoid being swept away in last night's game.
Josh Wilsom seeks to avoid being swept away in last night's game.
Norm Hall

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Tim Lincecum
RHP, 2-1, 3.64

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Brandon McCarthy
RHP, 0-3, 7.48

Diamondbacks Line-up

  1. Gerardo Parra, RF
  2. Martin Prado, 2B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Jason Kubel, LF
  5. A.J. Pollock, CF
  6. Miguel Montero. C
  7. Eric Chavez, 3B
  8. Cliff Pennington, SS
  9. Brandon McCarthy, P

So far this season, the five games against the Giants have been decided by a total of seven runs. In fact, all 15 games the Diamondbacks have played this season against NL West opponents have been decided by three runs or less. Given we haven't played the Padres yet [generally looking like the weakest of the bunch thus far], that would be a good sign for our chances of contention: that we can, apparently, hang with the World Series Champions and Yankees West. Still early days - we are only one-sixth of the way through the schedule - but it really doesn't look likely that anyone will be galloping away with the division this season.

However, I would feel a lot happier if we can salvage the series finale tonight; something we've been very good at thus far, but I am unconvinced winning the last games of the series is what you would call a repeatable skill. We have to wonder about Brandon McCarthy too, who thus far, has just not been anything like the player we hoped to get when signing him. Is it possible the head trauma has affected him in some unconscious way? I remember Mark Reynolds getting hit in the head on his 27th birthday, in August 2010. Up until that point, he had hit .250. Since them only .217. While correlation is not causation, one has to wonder.

On our side, I'm sure Goldzilla will be happy to see Linecum on the mound. Let's just repeat Goldschmidt's career line against Timmeh: 8-for-14 with five home-runs. No-one else has five HR in their career against Lincecum, and there are many who don't even have one. For instance, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp and Justin Upton - three of the most feared hitters in the league - have combined for exactly ZERO home-runs, in a total of 132 at-bats (each having had 44, curiously). I'm pretty sure neither man here could give you any rational explanation of this, but it has to be deep inside Timmeh's newly-shorn head.

Certainly, we could do with the offense providing a little help, as the past seven games have seen them post a collective line of .221/.294/.367, a .661 OPS, averaging only three runs per game. That has helped put a lot of pressure on both our starting pitchers and the bullpen, because there hasn't been a great deal of wiggle-room. That has been a theme all season: So far, they've performed generally admirably - over those same seven games, we've held the opposition to two runs on five occasions. McCarthy could help us out by delivering something along those lines tonight.

Elsewhere, Trevor Bauer was re-promoted by Cleveland to start tonight's game. Seems to be going better today - scoreless for him through four with five strikeouts - but he has also walked four, so that issue remains steadfastly unresolved.