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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #5: Ray of hope?

We can but pray...

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Hammel
RHP, 0-0, N/A
Robbie Ray
LHP, 0-0, N/A
Dexter Fowler - CF Jean Segura - 2B
Jason Heyward - RF Socrates Brito - CF
Ben Zobrist - 2B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Anthony Rizzo - 1B David Peralta - RF
Kris Bryant - 3B Welington Castillo - C
Jorge Soler - LF Jake Lamb - 3B
Addison Russell - SS Yasmany Tomas - LF
David Ross - C Robbie Ray - LHP
Jason Hammel - RHP Nick Ahmed - SS

And so we complete our first trip round the Diamondbacks rotation in 2016, with Ray taking the mound for the first time at Chase Field tonight. We're still looking for our first quality start of the season: Patrick Corbin has been the only pitcher to reach the necessary six innings, and even he allowed more than the required three earned runs. The team has never gone without a quality start in its first five games. Last year was pretty close, as it took until Archie Bradley in the fifth game to record one. Much the same thing happened in 2014, when it took until our fifth start again, but that was already Trevor Cahill's second outing, due to the Sydney jaunt.

So, by that pattern, I guess we should expect Ray to deliver this evening, but after the last four games, it's safe to say that my expectations are being "managed", shall we say. However, this is clearly a day for the unusual and the strange: Trevor Story homered for the fourth consecutive game, Matt Buschmann is on the verge of reaching the majors, after more than a decade in the minor leagues, and I am even hearing unconfirmed reports that a San Diego Padre may have crossed home-plate. I imagine he had to stop and ask the third-base coach for directions, then confirm them on Google Maps. So, there's magic in the air.

That magic, unfortunately, did not extend to Kyle Schwarber, whose season was ended by the outfield collision with a team-mate last night. While an X-ray revealed no fracture, it appears that he suffered full tears to both the ACL and LCL in his left knee, so he's done for the year. Hopefully, he'll be able to make a full recovery for 2017. The D-backs tonight go back to having Brito in CF, and after a brief excursion to the top of the order last night, Ahmed is once again down at the bottom, behind the pitcher. But, let's be honest, after these four games, I am rather more interested in the location of our pitcher's pitches, than his location in the batting order.