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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #27: May Day or Mayday?

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Turn the calendar over to a new page!

Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Chad Bettis
RHP, 2-1, 3.77
Shelby Miller
RHP, 0-2, 8.69
Charlie Blackmon - CF Phil Gosselin - 2B
Trevor Story - SS Brandon Drury - 3B
Carlos Gonzalez - RF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Nolan Arenado - 3B David Peralta - RF
Gerardo Parra - LF Yasmany Tomas - LF
DJ LeMahieu - 2B Chris Herrmann - C
Ben Paulsen - 1B Chris Owings - CF
Tony Wolters - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Chad Bettis - RHP Shelby Miller - RHP

April sucked! No A.J. Pollock, our starting pitched imploded, and we went the entire month without winning a series at home! What? We're one-half a game back in the NL West, with the toughest part of the schedule now safely behind us? April totally rocked! Yeah, it has been kinda like that. I don't know what to think any more. I forget who, but someone compared how fans feel about the D-backs to being in a relationship with a hot but mentally unstable other half, and that seems to be increasingly accurate as time has gone on. If you'd only watched our home games, oh god, we're 5-11. But if you'd only watched the road games (7-3), you'd have a totally different opinion.

Today represents a third consecutive opportunity for the D-backs to take possession of top spot in the NL West, for the first time since July 21, 2013. But, depending how things break, any one of four teams could find themselves leading the pack by the end of the day. Be curious to know when the last time was that was true for our division - or, indeed, when everyone was below .500. Climbing that ladder will require Shelby Miller to pitch more like he did during the first four innings of his last outing, and less like he did during the five-spot surrendered (with some help from Chris Owings) in the fifth. But at least his knuckles survived the encounter intact. So there's that.

We see Herrmann with the catching duties today, so curious to see how that works out. He has caught two of Miller's starts. and the number were a little better than with Beef behind the plate, though at a 7.71 ERA, clearly still not good. All told this season, there has been a quite stark split: our pitcher's ERA with Welington's Castillo is more than twice that of Herrmann (5.64 vs. 2.81). Now, you can certainly claim that catcher ERA "is useless", but it has also been shown that "catchers have a significant impact on the performance of the pitchers they catch." So, take the above for whatever you think it's worth - as long as we avoid the sweep, we'll be happy!