|COLORADO ROCKIES||ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS|
|Charlie Blackmon - CF||David Peralta - LF|
|DJ LeMahieu - 2B||A.J. Pollock - CF|
|Nolan Arenado - 3B||Paul Goldschmidt - 1B|
|Trevor Story - SS||Jake Lamb - 3B|
|Carlos Gonzalez - RF||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Ian Desmond - 1B||Alex Avila - C|
|Gerardo Parra - LF||Nick Ahmed - SS|
|Chris Iannetta - C||Jarrod Dyson - RF|
|Jon Gray - RHP||Patrick Corbin - LHP|
Interesting to compare the starting line-ups for the two teams tonight, with those for that monumental wild-card game on October 4 last year. The Rockies are less changed: Ian Desmond takes over from Mark Reynolds at first, and former D-back Chris Iannetta is now their catcher, not Jonathan Lucroy. But seven of the same starting nine are back at Chase Field, and will likely be hungry for revenge. On the D-backs side, we not longer have J.D. Martinez, and Daniel Descalso is on the bench. There’s also a different battery from the Zack Greinke/Jeff Mathis pairing we saw last October. David Peralta and Paul Goldschmidt are the only two Arizona players to be in the same spots, batting first and third respectively.
Hopefully, the team will do as well against Gray as they did that night, where he was chased after recording just four outs, having surrendered seven hits to the eleven batters faced. That included the three-run homer to Paul Goldschmidt, who had struggled previously against the Rockies’ starter: he’s 1-for-12 lifetime in the regular season. Sticking to that, unsurprisingly it’s left-handers Jake Lamb and Peralta who have had the most success, combining to go 13-for-29. On the basis of those match-ups, it’s a bit of a surprise Chris Owings isn’t starting, as he is 5-for-9 with a homer and a double.
Meanwhile, the Rockies have seen Corbin plenty of times, led by D.J. LeMahieu’s 41 plate-appearances (I wonder how long it’ll be into tonight’s broadcast before Bert breaks out “Ze LeMahieu sheeeft”?). Patrick faced them four times last year: while the overall ERA was a humdrum 4.03, that was largely the result of one four-inning, eight earned run outing. He saw them twice subsequently in September, and was a lot better, allowing two earned runs over 12 innings, with 11 strikeouts. I hope Corbin does well: when he missed Opening Day down under in 2014, undergoing Tommy John surgery instead, I imagine he had to wonder whether the chance would ever come again.
Tonight, it does.