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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #82: The second-half begins

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Only the Cubs have won more games in the NL this year than the Giants. They're 14-2 when Cueto starts. We're sending up Shelby Miller. Yeah, not exactly feeling optimistic about this one.

The Herrminator will see you now....
The Herrminator will see you now....
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Johnny Cueto
RHP, 11-1, 2.42
Shelby Miller
RHP, 2-7, 6.79
Denard Span - CF Jean Segura - 2B
Angel Pagan - LF Michael Bourn - CF
Brandon Belt - 1B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Brandon Crawford - SS Jake Lamb - 3B
Jarrett Parker - RF Welington Castillo - C
Conor Gillaspie - 3B Chris Herrmann - RF
Grant Green - 2B Yasmany Tomas - LF
Trevor Brown - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Johnny Cueto - RHP Shelby Miller - RHP

The arrival of Tuffy (at least for the weekend) means we have Castillo and Herrmann both in the starting line-up, Chris making his third start of the season in right-field, with Tomas in left. Peter O'Brien is once again on the bench. The team does seem to be cooling significantly on his potential, with just one start for him since Saturday. He has struck out at least once in 15 of the 17 games where he has come to the plate. Admittedly, he still doesn't have that much experience at the major-league level, but O'Brien turns 26 two weeks today, so the "prospect" level is getting a little tenuous going forward. Few things are more aggravating than potential in one area (power), negated by major issues in another (contact).

After a burst where they won 12 out of 13, the Giants have come back somewhat to earth. They were a little lucky to win the series against the Phillies, needing a walkoff win in the rubber game, then dropped three of four in a home-and-away Bay Bridge series against the Athletics. The game they won saw Madison Bumgarner hit for himself, rather than San Francisco using the DH, which is pretty cool. It was the first time a starting pitcher has batted for themselves, in a game where the DH rule was in effect, since Andy Sonnastine of the Rays did so in 2009. He hit third in their line-up, but this appears to have been a mix-up. Before that, you have to go back to Ken Brett, who did it twice in 1976.

Obviously, no such issues this evening for either side, as we return to the regular world of the National League, where such abominations as the DH do not exist. I'm far more worried about whether Miller will pitch effectively, than whether he can hit. He's 0-5 with a 6.97 ERA in six starts at Chase Field, and facing a team like the Giants isn't exactly the kind of easy outing which have led to his two victories (those came against the Phillies and Braves). Still, having now effectively abandoned all pretense at this team contending in 2016, guess he might as well work out his issues in the big leagues as anywhere else.