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Preview, Game #36: Diamondbacks vs. Phillies

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After last night's nail-biter, our Opening Day starter faces a guy making his first major-league appearance of 2013, and only seventh of his career. Gonna be a pushover, right? RIGHT? Hey, where're ya goin'?

Drew Hallowell

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Tyler Cloyd
RHP, 0-0, N/A

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Ian Kennedy
RHP, 1-3, 5.19

Diamondbacks Line-up

  1. Gerardo Parra, CF
  2. Didi Gregorius, SS
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Eric Chavez, 3B
  5. Cody Ross, RF
  6. Jason Kubel, LF
  7. Martin Prado, 2B
  8. Miguel Montero, C
  9. Ian Kennedy, P

Wow, how the definition of "Miggy Style" has changed. How long has it been since Montero hit as low in the order as the eighth-spot he occupies tonight? Almost two years: May 12, 2011. He hit there three times at the beginning of that season - but the big difference is, the opposing starters in those games were Matt Cain (twice) and Bronson Arroyo, not some (with all due respect) scrub fresh off the boat from AAA. Before that, you've got to go back to June 2009 to find the previous times Montero had the experience of hitting just ahead of the pitcher. We'll see whether this kick-starts his offense: he is 10-for-61 (.164) with a .474 OPS since April 19.

Obviously, no track record for anyone on the Diamondbacks against Cloyd, who had started six games for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, the enchantingly-named Lehigh Valley IronPigs, going 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA. On the other hand, he went 15-1 between AA and AAA last year, with a 2.26 ERA. That got him a September call-up, and he started six games, including eight innings of one-run ball on three hits against the Mets. So, "scrub" is stretching the truth a bit. While he was called up to replace the injured Roy Halladay, this may end up being a spot start, as the Phillies don't need a fifth starter again until May 21st. Not a power pitcher, but reportedly has a good cut fastball.

Ian Kennedy last outing would have looked a lot better if he hadn't give up home-runs to the last two batters he faced. There: that's the kind of insightful, in-depth analysis for which you come to the SnakePit, isn't it? That derailed his series of three consecutive quality starts, and also ensured his personal winless streak reached six games. His last (and, indeed, only) victory this year came on Opening Day. Be nice if he could get back on track tonight, and guarantee the Diamondbacks at least a split of this four-game series, with the team having to face Cliff Lee and Kyle Kendrick over the rest of the weekend.

Due to something called a "social life," 'charmer is not available to bring you tonight's recap. I don't know what that is, but it sounds most unpleasant, and I'm glad I don't have to worry about one of those. So, you'll have me tonight instead. Since I don't have any nails left, I'll see if I can find a kitten on which to chew during the later innings.