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Game #42 Preview: 5/23, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Chicago Cubs

A win today would take us back to .500. But will we have enough pitching to cope?

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Jake Arrieta
RHP, 4-4, 2.77
Rubby De La Rosa
RHP, 4-2, 4.08
Dexter Fowler - CF A.J. Pollock - CF
Kris Bryant - 3B Mark Trumbo - RF
Anthony Rizzo - 1B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Starlin Castro - SS David Peralta - LF
Miguel Montero - C Yasmany Tomas - 3B
Jorge Soler - RF Aaron Hill - 2B
Chris Coghlan - LF Tuffy Gosewisch - C
Jake Arrieta - RHP Nick Ahmed - SS
Addison Russell - 2B Rubby De La Rosa - RHP

If you want the key to the game today for De La Rosa, it would be "not walking people." If you look at his starts so far, the results have been very clearly connected to the number of walks allowed:

  • 0-1 walks: 2.45 ERA
  • 2 walks: 4.50 ERA
  • 3+ walks: 9.00 ERA

It's not just the additional base-runners. A lack of walks generally indicates Rubby has good fastball control, and that means fewer missed spots, such as hanging breaking balls or center-cut fastballs, right down Powder Mountain, as our current assistant hitting coach used to call 'em. Those offerings tend to take a while to come back, if they return at all.

I'm certainly hoping for a crisply-played game, completed in round about two hours and 20 minutes or so, after last night's monster, which lasted four hours, 27 minutes and became the longest since July 28 last year (the 15-inning 2-1 win against the Reds). It was a bit of a contrast to the week's earlier 13-inning game, against the Marlins on Monday, which was completed in a lickety-split 3:11. We've had nine regulation contests this season which took longer than that. Fun fact: that Diamondbacks-Marlins game was the quickest 13-inning contest in the majors since 1989. Guess those pace of play changes are having an impact...

Going to be interesting to see how Chip Hale handles the pitching: I imagine we are certainly hoping De La Rosa goes at least six if not seven innings. There's little chance he'll be able to have a quick hook, so if Rubby has one of "those" days, it may end up being a question of him sucking it up and letting his ERA take one for the team. If he tries to enter the dugout before throwing 100 pitches. I imagine Chip will be repelling him with a cattle-prod. The Cubs may be in better shape, as their bullpen only threw 5.1 innings, rather than the eight required by Arizona, but we'll see if we can muddle through for a the win, get back to .500 and go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon.