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Series Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks versus St. Louis Cardinals

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New School evolution versus old school primacy. To be honest, the Cardinals are the type of organization that I want to D-Backs to aspire to (their ill-advised hacking of the Astros notwithstanding), they lose a guy, a guy steps up. They always seem to have another player ready to step up or another ace, lurking in the woodwork. It's just how they scout, develop and roll. Curse them. This year, times are tougher in the land of the Redbirds in that there is a new evil empire lurking in the hinterlands to the north and their traditional rivals, those corsairs from the east, haven't gone quietly into the night. At this point, they're still above .500 (a place where our intrepid players hope to be) and I hardly suspect that they're just going to roll over on the season.

Chris Owings and the DBacks hope to catch a break on the road....
Chris Owings and the DBacks hope to catch a break on the road....
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

THE VIEW FROM THE CROWS NEST

If momentum has any meaning, the Cards are 6-4 over their last 10, going into today's game with the Rockies. Which means while our guys travel, they get to figure out how to retire Nolan Arrenado (good luck with that) because whatever he doesn't hit, he fields apparently. So, the D-backs get an off-day to travel to the Gateway City and see if they can continue their modest success on the road.  The Cards have also struggled at home (a game under .500) and its possible that they're a bit concerned since they're in a dead heat with the Pirates and are already 8 behind the Cubs; but this is May and usually organizations like the Cards do their own thing and let events unfold as they will, with the caveat that they usually do this from atop the division.

This series will help to provide us some additional insight if the plane has been pulled from it's death spin only to crash into the mountains ahead as the nose has been lifted... in the interim, if someone would take the time to wrestle the voodoo doll away from the shaman who is upset about their seating arrangements for home games, that would be welcome.

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Friday: Patrick Corbin (1-3/4.14/1.32) vs Carlos Martinez (4-3/3.14/1.05)

As happy as we are to have Patrick back, he's only shown flashes of his old self.  Lets face it, we would be a LOT more concerned if Miller and Greinke weren't pitching as bad as they have been, so Pat's struggles have been a bit under the radar considering all of the other issues with starting pitching.  Hope always springs eternal that this will be the occasion that shows that the corner has been turned.

Saturday: Robbie Ray (2-2/4.46/1.62) vs Mike Leake (2-3/4.66/1.24)

This looks like a coin toss to me, as Leake was once the popular choice for the D-Backs acquisition hopes until the Miller trade was initiated, Mike has also struggled this year but considering this is the Cardinals, they can afford to allow him to round into form, yet... with the Cubs sprinting ahead... how patient will they continue to be?

Sunday: Zack Greinke (4-3/5.08/1.39) vs Jaime Garcia (3-3/2.86/1.03)

This should be fun to watch if Zack has truly turned the corner, and this time he's not pitching at Chase.  Should be a great game to watch if you enjoy watching pitchers do their things.

FAST FOOD PROGNOSTICATIONS

To be fair, looking at these matchups, I could see us taking two of three or getting swept.  Do the bats play?  Do the Cardinals find a way to punish our makeshift OF configurations?  If I had answers, would I be writing for this blog?

JUMBO JACKS - 1

TACOS - 0

For some reason, the only prediction I can make is frustration and I think that trend continues as we salvage one game and struggle at the plate and on the mound.  I would love to be wrong and hope that I am, but until I see some consistency that says otherwise... I'm gonna continue to be Danny Downer.

WAR PARTY

Pitching - Them

Carlos Martinez - 0.8

Jaime Garcia - 0.7

Seung Hwan Oh - 0.7 (yeah... I was surprised by this too, talk about effective!)

Hitting - Them

Aledmys Diaz - 2.0 (this is what I mean about the Cardinals and the next man up, sheesh)

Stephen Piscotty - 1.3

Yadier Molina - 1.2

Matt Carpenter - 1.2

MICROWAVE LEFTOVER THOUGHTS

This will be interesting to see how this shakes out, we split with the Cardinals at home and perhaps our makeshift bunch matches up, or perhaps we slipped the Cards some bad burritos while they were here.  It's also possible that both teams are busy trying to establish their bearings in the Cubs New Order and they're doing a better job of it than our guys.  There are signs and portents of hope but I do admire the ability of the Cards to simply lose guys due to injury or bad performance and just plug in guys like Aledmys Diaz or Jeremy Hazelbaker and just keep trucking. One day... one day... perhaps when I move into my dormant volcano lair...