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Game #84 Preview: 7/8, Arizona Diamondbacks @ Texas Rangers

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[Sigh] Here we go again...

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Hellickson
RHP, 6-5, 5.06
Matt Harrison
LHP, 0-0, N/A
Nick Ahmed - SS Delino DeShields Jr. - CF
A.J. Pollock - CF Shin-Soo Choo - RF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Prince Fielder - 1B
Yasmany Tomas - RF Adrian Beltre - 3B
Welington Castillo - C Josh Hamilton - LF
David Peralta - LF Mitch Moreland - DH
Aaron Hill - DH Elvis Andrus - SS
Jake Lamb - 3B Rougned Odor - 2B
Cliff Pennington - 2B Robinson Chirinos - C

So, we we've tried facing it head-on. We've tried ignoring it. Neither has worked. The D-backs will today make their 13th attempt to reach the .500 mark since April 24, having failed on the previous dozen efforts. If you'd bet just ten bucks on the D-backs to lose the first time, then let it ride for the subsequent contests, you would now be sitting on a pile of almost $41,000. It has to be a psychological barrier at this point as much as a physical one, but I'll tell you this: I'd rather be repeatedly trying to reach a mark many scoffed at, before the season began, than looking enviously up. Go check out the tone at Gaslamp Ball or Purple Row right now, and tell me we aren't having more fun!

I do have a good feeling about this one, in part because we are going up against a pitcher who hasn't stepped on a major-league mound for 14 months. Harrison underwent "spinal fusion" - and I though they were a metal band from the early 80's - last year, and is believed to be the first MLB player to return from the procedure. I'm delighted he has been able to make it back. However, I want him to receive a warm round of applause from the crowd - then have to duck and cover, as a broad selection of line-drives and other hard-hit balls come whizzing back off the bats of our hitters this evening in Texas. This is not an occasion for our offense to practice sympathy suckage.

Hellickson, meanwhile, gave us his longest and best start of the season last time he pitched, though he has been better at Chase than on the road, where his ERA over eight starts is 5.32. However, his K:BB ratio is better (39:11) than at home (37:14). His control has certainly been better of late, with two walks in total over Jeremy's last four outings, totaling 24.1 innings, with an impressive 27 strikeouts in that time. If he can continue posting that kind of ratio today, perhaps it will be a case of lucky 13 for the Diamondbacks. Alternatively, I look forward to cashing in that $82,000 worth of winnings...