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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #21: Cardinals In

First of a four-game set, with that loud, wheezing sound coming from the bullpen in left-field.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jaime Garcia
LHP, 1-1, 2.70
Zack Greinke
RHP, 1-2, 5.25
Matt Carpenter - 3B Jean Segura - 2B
Stephen Piscotty - RF Brandon Drury - 3B
Matt Holliday - LF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Brandon Moss - 1B Yasmany Tomas - LF
Randal Grichuk - CF Welington Castillo - C
Yadier Molina - C David Peralta - RF
Jedd Gyorko - 2B Chris Owings - CF
Aledmys Diaz - SS Zack Greinke - RHP
Jaime Garcia - LHP Nick Ahmed - SS

Hell Month continues for the Diamondbacks,as they face another series against a team which made it to the post-season last year, with the Cardinals starting a four-game set at Chase Field. The Cardinals have been left trailing in the wake of the Cubs so far, but don't let that lull you into a false sense of security, as their +40 run differential is the second-best in the entire majors. There are reasons why St. Louis have reached the playoffs five years in a row, and I think most Arizona fans would likely be happy with a split of the series. Mind you, we said much the same thing about the games in San Francisco, and they ended up going pretty well, so you never know.

Key tonight will, hopefully, Greinke going deep into the game and giving the bullpen a chance to recover. Enrique Burgos was the only pitcher not used last night, though the arrival of Keith Hessler and (it appears at time of writing) Dominic Leone will provide some fresh arms - albeit for a loose definition of "arm", used more in the biological than baseball sense. It'd certainly be helpful if the offense can continue to hit, in what may well be an offensive-minded series, pitting #1 (the D-backs) against #2 (the Cards) in the NL for total bases so far. Admittedly, it helps Arizona that, as well as throwing more innings, they've had more PA than any other team.

The same teams are also #1 and #2 for home-runs - which may or may not be a good thing, considering the issues our pitchers have had with the long-ball at Chase Field thus far. But Greinke appears to be getting into his stride, with his last couple of starts posting Game Scores of 62 and 64, which are almost up to the average he had last year (67). Now, can we maybe get a couple above that average, to help redress the balance of his Opening Day meltdown? With the big question-mark that is former outfielder Shelby Miller and the mercurial Rubby De La Rosa also going in this series, I'll feel a lot better about it, with a good, long start from Greinke and a win in the opening contest.