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Preview: Game #64, Diamondbacks @ Dodgers

A six-game road trip running through the rest of the week, starts in Los Angeles tonight. Can we beat the Dodgers for a third time in a Clayton Kershaw start?

Squeal like a Puig, boy...
Squeal like a Puig, boy...


Wade Miley
LHP, 4-5, 4.92

Clayton Kershaw
LHP, 5-4, 1.93

Diamondbacks Line-up

  1. A.J. Pollock, CF
  2. Willie Bloomquist, SS
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Cody Ross, LF
  5. Miguel Montero, C
  6. Martin Prado, 3B
  7. Gerardo Parra, RF
  8. Cliff Pennington, 2B
  9. Wade Miley, P

Well, we've done it before. Beat the Dodgers when Kershaw starts, that is. Twice, in fact: and we're not the only ones, as Los Angeles are a pretty mediocre 7-6 when he takes the mound. However, that's more to do with a lack of run support than anything - in those six losses, he has a 3.17 ERA and the Dodgers have scored a total of exactly ten runs. So, winning this evening is likely less about getting to Kershaw, and more about stopping their offense from scoring more than, say, twice. They've lost one Kershaw start this year when the hitters give him three runs of support, so there's not much margin for error.

The bad news is, Miley has one start where he hasn't allowed three or more runs in the past month - and that was against the Marlins, so likely deserves some kind of asterisk. His last outing, against the Cardinals in St. Louis, was a little better, in that it was a quality start, as he held them to three runs over 6.2 innings. The downside is the season-high 11 hits Miley allowed, which suggests that, whatever has ailed him still isn't right. On the other hand, he was BABIP'd to death at a .440 rate. We certainly need the good Miley to show up, as the last couple of times through our rotation have pretty much been Patrick Corbin and "This is it, we're going to die."

Some tweaks to the line-up tonight, in part due to the left-handed starter/. Not seen many of those lately: Indeed, before Madison Bumgarner on Saturday night, the previous one was the Rangers' Martin Perez during the Memorial Day double=header. Didi Gregorius gets the night off, having started 33 consecutive games for the D-backs. That seemed to have caught up with him in the Giants series, where he went 1-for-10 with no walks and five strikeouts. So we get Bloomquist and Pennington as our middle-infield this evening, though at least we don't see Willie batting leadoff, so I'm soothed by that.

It's getting ever more obvious that there's a platoon, albeit a rather expensive one, operating in left-field. I can't remember the last time we have both Ross and Jason Kubel in the same line-up. [Actually, it was only for Miley's last start, in St. Louis, but it seems a lot longer than that] Tonight, it's Ross who occupies left, and I have to say, his defensive numbers have been pretty impressive thus far: given his lack of power (would you have said Pollock would have twice as many homers as Ross at this point in the season?), it has been a very necessary part of keeping his value out of the negative.

I'll be recapping this one, but may be a little late to the game. I trust it won't be wildly out of control by the time I get there.