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Game #96 Preview: 7/25, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers

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Hold me closer, tiny dancer. It's a Rubby De La Rosa start, with all THAT entails...

Taylor Jungmann
RHP, 5-1, 2.04
Rubby De La Rosa
RHP, 7-5, 4.83
Gerardo Parra - LF Ender Inciarte - RF
Jonathan Lucroy - C A.J. Pollock - CF
Ryan Braun - RF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Adam Lind - 1B David Peralta - LF
Carlos Gomez - CF Welington Castillo - C
Scooter Gennett - 2B Jake Lamb - 3B
Jean Segura - SS Chris Owings - 2B
Hernan Perez - 3B Cliff Pennington - SS
Taylor Jungmann - RHP Rubby De La Rosa - RHP

The enigma which is Rubby takes the mound as we, once again, spin the Wheel O' De La Rosa, and see where about it lands. Last time out, it landed on the very small space reading "five walks, one run", as Rubby handed out free passes as if they were candy, yet still won his first game in a month, holding the Marlins to a single tally over seven innings of work. Naturally, it was a home-run: Rubby comes into today's game, fourth in the majors for home-runs allowed this season, with 22.

If the current rate keeps up, he will have the highest homer per nine innings figure of any qualifying Diamondback in team history. His number just edges Brian Anderson's from our debut season of 1998, when he led the league with 39 homers allowed, over 208 innings. And when I say "just", I mean just - as in identical until after the fifth decimal place. Anderson's rate was 1.687500, De La Rosa's 1.687505! But if you take into consideration the difference in eras, it's an easy win for Rubby. Anderson's figure represents 168.6% of league average that season; Rubby's is 183.2% of current NL home-run rate.

At least he'll have some more experience behind the plate, as Castillo makes his return to the line-up, having been out of it for the past three games, due to a tweaked hamstring - certainly not something you want as a catcher. Not that Hernandez seemed to do badly in terms of his pitch-calling, with the staff having an ERA of 3.00 and striking out 30 batters over those 27 innings. So far, he's been decent, I think. Small sample size, and obviously a work in progress, but I'm optimistic he'll be kept on the roster for the rest of the season, and become a permanent part of the Diamondbacks going forward.