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Game #104 Preview: 8/3, Arizona Diamondbacks @ Washington Nationals

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I hope you enjoyed the three-game series of celebrity softball played over the weekend. We're back to playing REAL baseball now...

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Zack Godley
RHP, 2-0, 2.25
Doug Fister
RHP, 4-6, 4.39
Ender Inciarte - RF Yunel Escobar - 3B
A.J. Pollock - CF Anthony Rendon - 2B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Bryce Harper - RF
David Peralta - LF Ryan Zimmerman - 1B
Welington Castillo - C Clint Robinson - LF
Jake Lamb - 3B Ian Desmond - SS
Aaron Hill - 2B Wilson Ramos - C
Nick Ahmed - SS Michael Taylor - CF
Zachary Godley - RHP Doug Fister - RHP

Of course, the big news today in the baseball world is the nationwide furore over the beanball wars which broke out over the weekend, both between the Royals/Blue Jays and the Reds/Pirates. Cincinnati received broad, national condemnation from many writers, for delaying apparent retaliation against the Pirates until late on Saturday. "If you want to retaliate, answer back, do it pretty early, join the game," Andrew McCutchen said. "Get it over with. Don't wait till the eighth inning." And, of course, the Pirates, who never hit anyone on purpose, ever ever ever,. had a pair of players ejected on Sunday.

What? You missed all the holier-than-thou editorials from Buster Olney, Craig Calcaterra, etc. demanding that pitcher who hit people deliberately be treated worse than PED users. That's probably because, apparently, these actions only merit hysterical complaints when the Diamondbacks do them. Well, it's possible Olney may have written something, but since he's embedded deep within ESPN's pay-wall, nobody much will see it [if a tree falls in the forest, and it's only available by subscription...]. Really, I'm keen to hear from those who played down the concept of a double standard after our latest evisceration, whether they still feel that's the case.

Anyway, I trust there'll be no such issues this evening in our nation's capital, where we open what looks likely to be another tough series against the Nationals. However, we may be catching them at a good time, Washington having been swept by New York. Their offense is certainly sputtering, having been held to two runs or fewer in six of the last seven games, and as AzDbackfanInDc mentioned, the recent struggles have had some local fans saying manager Matt Williams is "out of excuses." However, our poor record against sides above .500 may give them reason to be optimistic for the series. We'll see how it all plays out.