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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #153: The Land of the DH

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Games until the blessed end of the season: 10

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Shelby Miller
RHP, 2-12, 6.90
Yovani Gallardo
RHP, 5-8, 5.77
Jean Segura - 2B Hyun Soo Kim - LF
Chris Owings - SS Adam Jones - CF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Manny Machado - 3B
Welington Castillo - C Chris Davis - 1B
Jake Lamb - 3B Mark Trumbo - RF
Yasmany Tomas - RF Pedro Alvarez - DH
Brandon Drury - LF Jonathan Schoop - 2B
Kyle Jensen - DH Matt Wieters - C
Mitch Haniger - CF J.J. Hardy - SS

Hang on: didn't Shelby Miller have an ERA north of seven? Why, yes: yes, he did. However, he has been the beneficiary of a scoring change in his start before last, against the Rockies at Chase Field. In the top of the fourth, Daniel Descalso reached on a play which was originally scored as a single. However, that has now been changed to an error by second baseman Brandon Drury. As a result, both runs that scored on the play, originally charged to Miller, became unearned. Having thrown exactly 90 innings this year, his ERA dropped by 0.20 as a result, and he's now on pace only for the second-worst ERA by an NL pitcher with 20 starts since 1930. [Thank you, Scott Elarton's 7.06 in 2001]

We'll see what having to deal with a full line-up, containing a DH rather than the pitcher's spot, does to that. On the Diamondbacks' side, interesting to see the team go with Jensen at the position. Of the seven previous games where the designated hitter has been in operation, Rickie Weeks Jr started six of them (Goldschmidt was the seventh). That has already put Weeks equal eighth in franchise history for most DH starts. The all-time leader in Erubiel Durazo who started ten, and most of the other names ahead of weeks are the "all bat, no glove" players you'd expect, e.g. Jason Kubel, Wily Mo Pena, Carlos Baerga, etc. though Greg Colbrunn and Chad Tracy are also there.

Jensen, meanwhile, will become the 56th different Diamondback to start a game at designated hitter. He currently joins the ranks of other one-DH wonders, including Rusty Ryal, Wil Nieves and Tony Abreu, as well as better-known names such as Stephen Drew, Mark Grace and Matt Williams. Yeah, you can see why roster construction tends to favor the American League when it comes to playing in their parks. Although this is at least somewhat counterbalanced by the woeful (if often amusing) efforts of American League pitchers to hit when they play in National League stadiums.