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Preview, #136: Diamondbacks vs. Blue Jays

This must be something of a first. Canadians coming to Arizona when the temperature is still over 100.



Esmil Rogers
RHP, 3-7, 5.03

Brandon McCarthy
RHP, 3-8, 5.03 ERA

Diamondbacks line-up

  1. Tony Campana, CF
  2. Adam Eaton, LF
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Eric Chavez, 3B
  5. Martin Prado, 2B
  6. Gerardo Parra, RF
  7. Wil Nieves, C
  8. Cliff Pennington, CF
  9. Brandon McCarthy, P

Labor Day sees Kirk Gibson ringing the changes, with a number of differences from the team which, let's be honest, looked pretty unimpressive against Yusmeiro Petit yesterday. There are days off for Aaron Hill, Miguel Montero, Willie Bloomquist and A.J. Pollock, replaced in the line-up (if not necessarily in the same on the field) by Chavez, Nieves, Pennington and Campana respectively.

Interesting to note the almost identical records for the two starting pitchers today. You don't see that often, this late in the season: same number of wins, same ERA and just one more loss for McCarthy. After a series of disappointing appearances, McCarthy pronounced that he had found a mechanical issue - a claim that was greeted with some skepticism, except he then backed it up with seven innings against the Padres, allowing only an unearned run. One swallow doesn't make a summer (though that probably depends who's doing the swallowing....), but if McCarthy can finish the year strong, that'll give me more confidence for 2014. When we're paying him over $10 million.

As ZM already noted, the Blue Jays have had a disappointing kinda season, considering they were expected to contend this season, and made the moves to do so this winter. Instead, they find themselves occupying last place in the AL East - admittedly, a pretty tough division - somewhere they haven't occupied since 2004. They haven't enjoyed post-season action since 1993, and if the Pirates get there this year, it'll leave the Blue Jays up there with the Royals, as the teams with the longest playoff droughts. That's a shame, personally, as I kinda like the concept of them as the only non-American team.

Diamondbacks: I feel I should warn you that there is an all-day marathon of shark movies on SyFy. We've already been amused by Land Sharks and Jersey Shore Shark Attack, so please be aware that you need to provide and maintain a certain level of entertainment value, in order to retain our interest and prevents us hopping the channels. Otherwise... Well, let's just say that Sharktopus starts at 3pm. You have been warned.

Because it's a day game, the fantasy baseball round-up will be appearing post-game at some point this evening. I've also got to knock up the 'Place Your Best', since this game marks our entrance into the last sixth of the 2013 schedule.