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Preview #96: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Washington Nationals

It’s the return of the Max...

Washington Nationals v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Brian Goodwin - CF David Peralta - RF
Ryan Raburn - LF A.J. Pollock - CF
Bryce Harper - RF Jake Lamb - 3B
Ryan Zimmerman - 1B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Daniel Murphy - 2B Daniel Descalso - LF
Anthony Rendon - 3B Brandon Drury - 2B
Matt Wieters - C Ketel Marte - SS
Wilmer Difo - SS Jeff Mathis - C
Max Scherzer - RHP Zack Godley - RHP

The Diamondbacks have never beaten Max Scherzer since he left them. Indeed, they’ve never even won a game in which he has started. For Scherzer us 5-0 in six starts against Arizona, with the sole no-decision being a 5-4 victory for the Nationals in August 2015, won as the result of a two-run eighth inning after Max left the game. Over the three starts facing the D-backs this season and last, Scherzer is 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA and a K:BB of 32:5 in 21 innings. When we saw him on May 4th in Washington, he two-hit us over seven innings, walking one and striking out 11. Let’s not sugarcoat things: tonight is not going to be easy.

It’s going to take Zack Godley being particularly bulldog-like, and rebound from what was very easily his worst outing of the season against the Braves. He did get through six innings there, but was charged with six earned runs and an unearned one, despite striking out a career-high nine batters. Up to that point, he had been extremely reliable, putting together a streak of 11 starts, allowing three runs or fewer. I guess it had to come to an end sometime. Hopefully this wasn’t any kind of regression for Godley into the much-less effective pitcher we say in 2016. The K-rate does help soothe my concerns there.

Still no J.D. Martinez in the line-up for the Diamondbacks, his hand still not yet deemed good enough after he was hit in his debut during the Cincinnati series. Manager Torey Lovullo wouldn’t rule out him being available off the bench tonight for the Diamondbacks though, and stressed that “he’s going to be just fine.” Here’s the whole pre-game conference with Lovullo, via @FoxSportsAZ, which included a few other injury updates, including the latest news on Yasmany Tomas and Randall Delgado.