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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #11: 42

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It's Jackie Robinson Day, so even with a scorecard, you won't be able to tell the players...

@dbacks, via Twitter
Zack Greinke
RHP, 0-2, 9.90
James Shields
RHP, 0-2, 4.85
Jean Segura - 2B Jon Jay - CF
Socrates Brito - CF Wil Myers - 1B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Matt Kemp - RF
David Peralta - RF Melvin Upton Jr. - LF
Welington Castillo - C Derek Norris - C
Jake Lamb - 3B Cory Spangenberg - 2B
Yasmany Tomas - LF Alexei Ramirez - SS
Zack Greinke - RHP Alexi Amarista - 3B
Nick Ahmed - SS James Shields - RHP

It's difficult for us in the modern era to grasp quite what Jackie Robinson must have gone through in his rookie season. I guess perhaps the closest might be to imagine what would happen if a big-name player came out as gay - though I think, even there, most people would perhaps be more tolerant nowadays. Hard to say: there'd still be Neanderthals, I'm sure, but suspect it would be a nine-day wonder for most people. Otherwise, we just don't have much reference point for Robinson's experiences in that rookie season. It's like trying to figure out what storming the beach at Normady was like. We know the stories, but the gap between that and the actual experience is probably unbridgeable.

Moving on to tonight's game, can I start off by saying this. 7:40pm start time? WTF? Apparently this is a regular thing on Friday night, and is not a one-off to allow an additional 30 minutes to honor Jackie. Interesting how the D-backs moved their home games half an hour earlier from the standard 7:10pm time, and the Padres have gone the other way. That likely means not much chance of this finishing significantly before 10:30pm, so I'll be burning the midnight oil on the recap for this one! Maybe that's why Steve Berthiaume has called in sick today: Greg Schulte will be taking over as the PBP guy in the TV booth, with Mike Ferrin moving into the Gubnuh's seat. So don't be surprised by the strange voices!

As for the game, this sees a pair of underwhelming "staff aces", who have both gone 0-2 in their opening contests, and their teams go into tonight with identical 3-7 records. I'm surprised this game isn't on national television... For the D-backs, they will be hoping Greinke will finally be the ace they expected. I'm optimistic: we were one bad inning away from winning the series in Los Angeles, and if we'd done that, the tone of the conversations this morning would, I think, be radically different. The Padres, unlike the Rockies (who just beat the Cubs 6-1 at Wrigley today), do appear to be as bad as advertised, and I'd like to see the Diamondbacks take advantage.