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Game #118 Preview: 8/18, Arizona Diamondbacks @ Pittsburgh Pirates

This preview is brought to you in brief, intermittent spurts. Oscar keeps circling the monitor, and I have to keep switching to a non-volatile browser tab when he nears the keyboard....

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Chase Anderson
RHP, 5-5, 4.31
Francisco Liriano
LHP, 8-6, 3.19
A.J. Pollock - CF Gregory Polanco - RF
Aaron Hill - 3B Starling Marte - LF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Andrew McCutchen - CF
Welington Castillo - C Aramis Ramirez - 3B
Yasmany Tomas - RF Jung-Ho Kang - SS
David Peralta - LF Neil Walker - 2B
Chris Owings - 2B Pedro Alvarez - 1B
Nick Ahmed - SS Francisco Cervelli - C
Chase Anderson - RHP Francisco Liriano - LHP

Remember when Chase Anderson was good? And then he wasn't? And then he went on the DL, and he came back and threw seven shutout innings against the Reds, and we thought he was back? And then he lasted only five innings against the Phillies? Yeah, it's been a bit of a roller-coaster ride for Anderson, to the point that his ERA is now almost indistinguishable from Rubby De La Rosa (4.31 vs. 4.40), and the results when he pitches are about as unpredictable. Anderson's season ERA is higher than last year, but his FIP is 12 points lower. Be interesting to see what happens as his innings rack up (153.1 total in 2014, 117 so far this season).

Peralta moves back to left-field today, after a late switch in yesterday's line-up moved him to right, apparently as better able to handle the quirks of PNC Park. He did seem to be kept fairly busy there, so be interesting to see how Yasmany handles it. Peralta appears to be getting more press of late: Jeff Passan wrote about him the other day, highlighting him (as well as Pollock and Brad Ziegler) as among "baseball's best seasons no one is noticing." Certainly, he has been insanely productive: over the past three weeks, his line is .453/.493/.703. It's utterly unsustainable (BABIP of .531!), but those hits are in the books and not going anywhere.

David currently has an OPS+ of 143 for the season. Know how many outfielders in team history have posted a figure that high? One. Luis Gonzalez in 2001. It's even higher than the 141 put up by Justin Upton in 2011, when he finished fourth in MVP voting. While the talk about a contract extension for Pollock is certainly fully justified, it might not be a bad idea to think about buying out some of Peralta's upcoming years too. It'd be nice not to have to worry about the outfield for the foreseeable future.