|Ender Inciarte - LF||Norichika Aoki - LF|
|A.J. Pollock - CF||Gregor Blanco - RF|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Angel Pagan - CF|
|Mark Trumbo - RF||Buster Posey - C|
|Aaron Hill - 3B||Brandon Belt - 1B|
|Chris Owings - 2B||Matt Duffy - 3B|
|Tuffy Gosewisch - C||Joe Panik - 2B|
|Nick Ahmed - SS||Brandon Crawford - SS|
|Archie Bradley - RHP||Madison Bumgarner - LHP|
The Diamondbacks still seek their first road series win since July, having lost two chances to break that streak in San Diego, including blowing a lead in the series finale and turning it into an annoying loss combining TOOTBLAN and the curse of Kevin Towers. Since this is a four-game set, winning it will be a tall order, especially as we - and by "we", I mean mostly "Paul Goldschmidt" - don't get to face Timmeh. However, the Giants have lost six in a row, as documented in the series preview, and having scored only nine runs in total, it's clear where their issue has been. Though conceding 27 runs over that time indicates the pitching hasn't been awesome either.
Between facing a slumping offense, and doing so in the much less hitter-friendly confines of AT&T Park at night, Bradley could be excused for considering this a trivial challenge, compared to taking on the reigning Cy Young winner in his major-league debut. That said, Bumgarner beat us when we faced him on Opening Day, and, odd-year curse or not, it would be foolish to take the reigning World Series champions lightly for four games on their home turf. I'd probably be happy to split these games, but a win tonight might cause me to get greedy. And, of course, beating Bumgarner would be another great scalp on Archie's belt, alongside that of the dejected Amish farmer.
Archie becomes the second pitcher ever to make his first two career regular-season starts facing the reigning Cy Young and World Series MVP. The first was Colorado's Randy Flores in 2002 - coincidentally against the D-backs, as he faced Curt Schilling on Sept. 20, then Randy Johnson six days later. The games were split, Colorado winning the first 9-4, Flores getting a no-decision, but losing the second 4-2, with him getting the loss. However, Flores began the season as a reliever and had made 25 appearances, as well as being dealt from Texas to Colorado, before the starts in question. Oddly, in both games, Flores allowed seven hits, four runs, two walks and K'd two.
Same eight position players starting for the Diamondbacks as on Opening Day, with the only change being the swapping of Inciarte and Pollock at the top of the order. Hopefully, the overall end result will be better for Arizona, and we can continue the Giants' misery, extending their losing streak to seven games I will not be around, since we're off to a live performance of Welcome to Night Vale in Mesa. I'll try to avoid checking my phone for updates during the performance, since I certainly do not want to be That Guy!