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Preview, #2: San Francisco Giants @ Arizona Diamondbacks, 4/4

After the heady excitement of Opening Day, the long grind now begins.

MLB: Spring Training-Texas Rangers at Arizona Diamondbacks Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Gorkys Hernandez - CF A.J. Pollock - CF
Brandon Belt - 1B David Peralta - RF
Hunter Pence - RF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Buster Posey - C Jake Lamb - 3B
Brandon Crawford - SS Yasmany Tomas - LF
Eduardo Nunez - 3B Brandon Drury - 2B
Chris Marrero - LF Chris Owings - SS
Joe Panik - 2B Jeff Mathis - C
Johnny Cueto - RHP Patrick Corbin - LHP

Yes, that is exactly the same eight position players who started on Opening Day, the only change being a slight tweak to order, with Chris Owings and David Peralta swapping places. [According to Torey Lovullo, that’s something we’re going to see quite a lot, based on the handedness of the opposing staring pitcher] It’s the first time since 2010 we have started the first two contests with the same set of players. Here are the line-up changes in each season since, between games #1 and #2:

  • 2016: Socrates Brito replaced Owings at CF
  • 2015: Ender Inciarte replaced A.J. Pollock at CF
  • 2014: Didi Gregorius replaced Owings at SS
  • 2013: Alfredo Marte replaced Jason Kubel at LF
  • 2012: John McDonald replaced Willie Bloomquist at SS
  • 2011: Xavier Nady replaced Juan Miranda at 1B, Ryan Roberts replaced Melvin Mora at 3B

Remind me again: how the hell did we make the playoffs in 2011? Anyway, Corbin didn’t win any of this three starts against the Giants in 2016, going 0-1 with a 4.41 ERA and an awful 10:8 K:BB ratio over 16.1 innings. We’ll be looking for much better this evening. He wasn’t helped by his defense, admittedly, which was charged with five unearned runs in that time. This was a bit of a theme for Corbin. He led the majors with 20 unearned runs in 2016, the second most in franchise history, behind only the 28 inflicted on Brandon Webb in 2008.

Cueto has been a thorn in Arizona’s side since he made his major-league debut against us in 2008, pitching seven shutout innings of one-hit ball. He’s 9-3 with a 3.17 ERA over 13 starts against the Diamondbacks, including a 6-1 record at Chase Field. We faced him a total of five times last year, beating him twice and hitting him pretty well, inflicting a 4.13 ERA on him. But he did have a solid K:BB of 32:8 over his 32.2 innings of work. Jake Lamb has the best line (1.071 OPS) of those D-backs with 10+ PA against Cueto; Drury and Pollock have hit him well in more limited time, but the roster overall hasn't done much, with a collective line of .213/.270/.394.