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Game #16 Preview: 4/23, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

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Let's just hope, unlike last year, Paul Goldschmidt makes it through this series unscathed...

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Gerrit Cole
RHP, 2-0, 2.65
Josh Collmenter
RHP, 1-2, 3.38
Josh Harrison - 3B Ender Inciarte - LF
Gregory Polanco - RF A.J. Pollock - CF
Andrew McCutchen - CF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Neil Walker - 2B Mark Trumbo - RF
Starling Marte - LF Yasmany Tomas - 3B
Pedro Alvarez - 1B Chris Owings - 2B
Francisco Cervelli - C Tuffy Gosewisch - C
Jordy Mercer - SS Josh Collmenter - RHP
Gerrit Cole - RHP Nick Ahmed - SS

Pitcher hitting eighth again for Arizona. Mind you, Collmenter had as many hits in his previous outing, as Ahmed has got in his last nine games combined. Josh could pretty much go without a hit for the next month, and he'd probably still not have a lower batting average than Ahmed's current one (Collmenter going 0-for-15 would make it a tie). Still, all this hitting ninth will be good practice for him, for when the National League introduces the Designated Trumbo. At least this evening, we don't particularly need Josh to throw a complete game, with the bullpen being fully rested after the day off yesterday.

You may remember the last time the Pirates were here. It got ugly. An inside pitch ended Goldie's season, and Andrew McCutchen got plunked in the back - it didn't help he had to go on the DL a little while after, even if there's no evidence it was connected. The Pirates' staff ended the season with far and away the most hit batters in the NL: they had 88, with no other team even reaching seventy. This year, they have been more restrained: their current count of five through 13 games is right at league average. The D-backs, meanwhile have only hit two. Interestingly, however, Pittsburgh have been hit more often (11) than anyone else. Delayed payback, maybe? We're tied for third, at seven.

As you are probably aware, this will be our first group outing of the season to the park: at the time of publication, I'll be heading out the door to join Mrs. SnakePit and everyone else at the Rose & Crown. Hopefully, it will go every bit as well as our last trip, when Archie Bradley beat Clayton Kershaw. With quite a few of the usual suspects in attendance at Chase, it may make for a quieter than normal Gameday Thread, but that'll just give everyone else a chance to shine! Nate will be bringing you the full recap on this one, I'll be chipping in with the quickie from the park, as my phone allows!