|ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS||LOS ANGELES DODGERS|
|David Peralta - LF||Chris Taylor - CF|
|Ketel Marte - 2B||Corey Seager - SS|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Yasmani Grandal - C|
|A.J. Pollock - CF||Cody Bellinger - 1B|
|Chris Owings - RF||Yasiel Puig - RF|
|Nick Ahmed - SS||Joc Pederson - LF|
|Alex Avila - C||Logan Forsythe - 3B|
|Deven Marrero - 3B||Chase Utley - 2B|
|Taijuan Walker - RHP||Rich Hill - LHP|
Last night’s game was perhaps the most interesting of the season to watch, but there’s something enormously taxing about watching your team need a double-play to avoid pouring a five-run lead down the drain. The concept of “momentum” is a nebulous one, and I suspect thoroughly unproven. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, and you wonder if the Dodgers’ late charge will give them some confidence to carry over to this evening in Los Angeles. The D-backs do have that perfect record against left-handed starting pitchers so far, having gone 6-0 in such games, and have historically done well against Rich Hill. Lifetime, he is 1-5 in nine starts against us, with a 4.67 ERA.
However, the current roster have fared rather less well, with a collective line of only .211/.326/.368 for a .694 OPS, and that includes Jake Lamb’s 3-for-6 with a home-run. The exception, probably inevitably, is Paul Goldschmidt, batting .364 with a 1.053 OPS against Hill. Well, him and Taijuan Walker, who is a perfect 1-for-1. Our pitchers so far haven’t been hitting so well, batting only .087 (2-for-23). But they have been showing solid plate discipline: Zack Greinke’s walk last night was already their fifth; the rest of the NL has only seven combined. But that’s par for the course. Last season, the D-backs’ pitchers were tied for most walks, with 16, giving them the highest OBP by 30 points, at .211.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens if we enter the late innings with a narrow lead. Archie Bradley has already appeared in nine of our first thirteen games. That ties a team record, previously done by Brad Ziegler (2013) and Brian Bruney (2005), and obviously isn’t sustainable. But I was kinda surprised how often it has happened: 69 pitchers have seen such frequent use early in the season, with five actually beating Bradley and appearing in 10 of 13 (albeit no-one since 2003). I tend to imagine Torey Lovullo knows what he is doing, but I’d probably be happier if we had some other arms down there, on whom we can lean a bit more frequently!