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Preview #100: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Atlanta Braves

New Daddy Taijuan Walker returns to the mound. I wonder if he has been getting enough sleep?

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Arizona Diamondbacks Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Ender Inciarte - CF David Peralta - LF
Brandon Phillips - 2B A.J. Pollock - CF
Freddie Freeman - 3B Jake Lamb - 3B
Matt Kemp - LF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Nick Markakis - RF J.D. Martinez - RF
Matt Adams - 1B Chris Owings - SS
Kurt Suzuki - C Brandon Drury - 2B
Johan Camargo - SS Chris Iannetta - C
Mike Foltynewicz - RHP Taijuan Walker - RHP

Coincidental that’s 40% of our starting rotation to have gone on paternity leave, this month and last. We had Zack Greinke do that early in June, though he did a better job timing it, and didn’t have to be replaced. It’ll be 11 days since Walker’s last outing, and his absence led to a spot start on Saturday for Anthony Banda. We lost that game by a single run. I just hope it doesn’t end up costing us home-field advantage at the end of the season, or I will subsequently be filled with an irrational (or perhaps, entirely rational) hatred of babies.

Walker pitched against the Braves in Atlanta and was pretty solid, going six innings and allowing two runs, getting a no-decision in a 4-3 loss there. Foltynewicz also pitched against us, albeit in another game, and also got a no-decision, allowing three runs in 5.1 innings. So, repeats of both those should be fine, though after last night, I’d be hoping for more from the offense. J.D. Martinez arrived in fine style, with a statement home - though puts A.J. Pollock’s later in the game, at 12 inches further. Between those two, J.J. Hoover and T.J. McFarland, it feels like the D-backs are trying to corner the market in player initials this year...

Meanwhile, on the Braves side, somewhat amused to see Dansby Swanson lose his spot in the Braves’ line-up, considering how many were proclaiming him Rookie of the Year candidate before Opening Day. Since July 1, he has just two hits and is batting .050 over that time. Though it still looks like Ender Inciarte alone will make the Shelby Miller trade a win for Atlanta, if Swanson is indeed what he appears to be this year, that will certainly take some of the sting away. Simply not being one of the worst trades of the last 25 years would be an improvement over some predictions...