The La Russa Heartbreakometer
|Matt Carpenter - 3B||Ender Inciarte - LF|
|Tommy Pham - CF||A.J. Pollock - CF|
|Jhonny Peralta - SS||Paul Goldschmidt - 1B|
|Jason Heyward - RF||Welington Castillo - C|
|Yadier Molina - C||Aaron Hill - 3B|
|Stephen Piscotty - LF||Yasmany Tomas - RF|
|Kolten Wong - 2B||Chris Owings - 2B|
|Mark Reynolds - 1B||Nick Ahmed - SS|
|Jaime Garcia - LHP||Robbie Ray - LHP|
I hope you enjoyed the display of crisp well-played bases that ESPN broadcast last night. And then, the Little League World Series finished and they showed the Cardinals-Diamondbacks game instead. Ugh. For a national television audience was treated to what was probably one of the worst performance, all round of the season by the D-backs, with the honorable exception of Chacin, who pitched significantly better than I think most expected. Otherwise? A wretched mix of weak clutch hitting, bobbles, wild throws and mental laspes. The Diamondbacks didn't want to win less than the Cardinals, it was simply a case of them wanting to lose more.
Interesting point made by Bob Brenly on the broadcast though, after Jake Lamb wasn't able to turn a double-play, leading to a St. Louis run. He's a third-baseman, and they aren't very often required to start double-plays. But with the defensive shift, it's something which will be required more often, because usually what happens is the 3B moves over to the right (from home plate) of the SS, leaving the latter to cover the left-side of the infield. While making sense because they have more range, it does mean the third baseman is more likely to be involved in starting, or potentially even acting as the pivot man, on a double-play. It's a whole new territory.
Not something Lamb will have to worry about this evening, however, since with a left-haned starting pitcher on the mound, he's not in the starting line-up. This is my unsurprised face. Ray will try to end a winless streak which is now at seven starts, though some of that is a lack of run support. In his four starts this month, all losses, the D-backs have scored a total of five runs - admittedly, Ray's ERA over that time is 5.48, which isn't spectacular either, and he has yet to retire a batter after the sixth inning. I suspect run support will not be extensive tonight either, so Robbie will need to pitch better if he's to win. Hopefully, that extra day of rest will have helped.