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Game #53 Preview: 6/4, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. New York Mets

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So, the first day of the post-Trumbo era begins. Damn, guess that means I have to find a new SIG now...

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
Matt Harvey
RHP, 5-3, 3.11
Robbie Ray
LHP, 1-0, 1.50
Ruben Tejada - 2B Ender Inciarte - RF
Daniel Murphy - 3B A.J. Pollock - CF
Michael Cuddyer - LF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Lucas Duda - 1B Yasmany Tomas - 3B
Wilmer Flores - SS David Peralta - LF
John Mayberry - RF Chris Owings - 2B
Juan Lagares - CF Jarrod Saltalamacchia - C
Kevin Plawecki - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Matt Harvey - RHP Robbie Ray - LHP

No sign of Welington Castillo in the starting line-up, which perhaps makes some sense: you would probably want him to be able to get to know the pitchers a little bit, before throwing him into a game-calling situation.Still, I'll settle for an everyday outfield of Inciarte, Pollock and Peralta for a bit, and we can perhaps survive with Salty as a catcher. It looks like he did catch the starts for Ray in Reno on May 18 and 24, so there will be some familiarity with this evening's starting pitcher. It's certainly asking a lot for Ray to go up against the opposition ace, but that seemed to be how the man he's replacing, Archie Bradley, seemed to roll.

It's Throwback Thursday at Chase Field tonight, so tonight's first pitch will involve Stephen Randolph throwing to Chris Snyder. Maybe Randolph can hang around and help out the bullpen a bit, since they are still the busiest bunch of relievers in the National League, though the margin has narrowed a bit, after the Rockies' double-header the other day: we're now 9.2 innings ahead of Colorado. So we could do with Ray breaking the trend of short outings: the last Diamondbacks' starter to go past six innings was back on May 24, when Jeremy Hellickson went 6.2 innings. He was also the last to reach six, his last time out on May 30.

Still, yesterday's game was an invigorating victory, the team showing a level of fight to come back from six down, which they haven't shown in more than three years, if I'm not mistaken. A win tonight would - and stop me if you've heard this one before - pull us back to within one game of .500. We have been playing better of late; starting with the Miami series, we are 10-6, and only the Pirates have had a better record in the NL over that time. However, only two of those wins (both against the Cubs) were against teams that are currently above .500, so we've certainly been helped by the schedule. This series will be a sterner test of our ability to compete.