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Game #112 Preview: 8/11, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Hey, we're 2-0 in preview where there are pictures of Oscar. If it ain't broke...

David Buchanan
RHP, 2-6, 7.23
Jeremy Hellickson
RHP, 7-8, 5.06
Chase Utley - 2B A.J. Pollock - CF
Odubel Herrera - CF Jake Lamb - 3B
Maikel Franco - 3B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Ryan Howard - 1B David Peralta - LF
Darin Ruf - LF Yasmany Tomas - RF
Domonic Brown - RF Jarrod Saltalamacchia - C
Freddy Galvis - SS Aaron Hill - 2B
Cameron Rupp - C Chris Owings - SS
David Buchanan - RHP Jeremy Hellickson - RHP

Oscar has become quite the mountaineering cat. Having ascended the North Face of the Sofa, he next set his sights on a considerably more perilous peak, surmounting the previously-unclimbed Head-rest of Jim's Office Chair. With a support team watching anxiously (well, I was ready to catch him if he fell), we are pleased to announce the target was conquered at 11:55am this morning. Descent proved rather swifter, and was apparently less carefully planned, than the ascent, but was accomplished without injury or (much) loss of dignity. We trust that this feat of mountaineering is a good omen as the D-backs, once again, look to scale... Oh, y'know. And, moving rapidly on.

No Nick Ahmed today. Remember when Ahmed was hitting? Good times. In 20 starts and 21 games since the All-Star break, Nick's line is .171/.198/.263. That is certainly BABIPy, with a .182 figure over that time, but he had his fair share of good fortune there when he was "hot". Overall though, his season figure is .256, which isn't good. You do have rather more control over BABIP at the plate than on the mound - obvious example, pitchers in the National League this seasin have a collective BABIP this season of .224, because they are less likely to square balls up, and get those sweet line-drives which are much more likely to become hits.

The weird thing is, Ahmed's line-drive rate of 26% is basically right at league average (25%). So why has his BABIP been so low? Because, it appears, a lot of those line-drives have been right at people. His BABIP on those line drives is .485, which may seem high, but the NL average is .610. He's also a little below average BABIP for ground- and fly-balls, but the difference there is a lot smaller: 22 and 37 points respectively, compared to 125 points on line-drives. That's the kind of number which should normalize over time, so hopefully we'll see Ahmed's OPS incline up over the final third of the season. Something in the upper 600's by the end would be okay, I think.