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Preview: Game #31, Diamondbacks @ Padres

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After last night's laugher (wobbles in the eighth excepted), we'll try to take another road series, behind Ian Kennedy.

Denis Poroy

ari_medium


Ian Kennedy
RHP, 1-2, 4.78

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Edinson Volquez
RHP, 2-3, 6.39

Diamondbacks Line-up

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

I dunno about you, but I just feel a lot more confident with this line-up than the alternate version we get to see against left-handers. That has somewhat been reflected this year, as we are 10-8 when the opposing starter is a rightie, compared to 6-6 against southpaws. That's not surprising when you look at the team's splits:
vs LH Starter .226/.303/.351 = .653 OPS
vs RH Starter .265/.323/.437 = .761 OPS
And I bet you, the first line was a good deal lower before the gift that keeps on giving i.e. Clayton Richard showed up last night. We average more than a run a game more against a right-handed starter. Given the number of close games in which we're involved, that's significant.

The return of Aaron Hill will help that, but from recent reports, it looks like we'll be doing without him for another month or so. Willie Bloomquist will likely also be a bit of a help against lefties, but I'm not sure he'll be an enormous upgrade on Wilson or Pennington in terms of offensive output - and is not as a good a defender. It's kinda important, as it looks like we'll be seeing three left-handed starters this week, in Chris Capuano, Clayton Kershaw and Cole Hamels. While those are clearly of varying quality, I think we'll need better than a .653 OPS against any of them, to have much of a chance of victory.

Today, of course, it's not an issue, and I think we should do quite well against Volquez. Random factoid: in his debut, back in 2005, Volquez went up against... Brandon McCarthy, and was slapped around silly, as the Reds lost 8-0 to the White Sox. Seems a pretty long time ago. Not great numbers for the Diamondbacks against him overall: in his career, he is .221/.326/.325 versus us, but Volquez has been a lot more vulnerable this season, and hasn't had great control either. In 31 innings, he has allowed 41 hits and 13 walks. Time for our lefties to take more advantage of those shortened fences in left-field.

Sadly, it looks like we won't be able to enjoy the inimitable stylings of @Diamondbackers on Twitter today.

Elsewhere, he blamed "childish, immature attacks", which is ironic, coming from the man whose idea of being the official voice of fans was stuff like, "at #ChaseField, most fans would've missed that 3 run BOMB!!!!! They would've already left!" Hopefully, the next occupant of the post will be less petulantly childish - if there is one, because if I was the D-backs, I'd seriously consider pulling the plug on the whole thing after this debacle.

Still, Kennedy FTW, give us the series victory, and we can then head on to the (rapidly-sinking) Dodgers for the next series.