|SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS||ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS|
|Austin Jackson - CF||David Peralta - LF|
|Joe Panik - 2B||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Andrew McCutchen - RF||Paul Goldschmidt - 1B|
|Buster Posey - C||A.J. Pollock - CF|
|Pablo Sandoval - 3B||Daniel Descalso - 3B|
|Hunter Pence - LF||Alex Avila - C|
|Brandon Belt - 1B||Nick Ahmed - SS|
|Brandon Crawford - SS||Jarrod Dyson - RF|
|Johnny Cueto - RHP||Patrick Corbin - LHP|
The D-backs return to Chase Field, and we’ll get a bit more data towards seeing whether the humidor is having an impact. As we noted yesterday, the indications over the first six games is that it does seem to be suppressing offense, with the runs scored both for and against the Diamondbacks both down compared to the first six games of last year. But the evidence is still a long way short of being conclusive, and there are any number of other factors which could be responsible. Even this series probably isn’t going to tell us much, with the Giants already sitting dead last in the National League for runs scored. And it’s not close: SF has 46, only the woeful Reds and Marlins are even under 60.
Indeed, the most startling fact is that, in the majority of the 15 games they have played so far, San Francisco has been held to one run or fewer. They’ve had two shutouts and scored just once on six further occasions. They’re 2-6 in those games, the two wins being the consecutive, Joe Panik-powered 1-0 wins over the Dodgers in their first pair of contests. They were then blanked the next two, managing to split the four-game series despite scoring a grand total of two runs, being outscored 14-2. Uh, well done? They just lost three of four against the Padres in San Diego, and hopes for a rebound from 2017 as fading: they currently have exactly the same record as after 15 games last year.
And, arguably, are in worse shape than they were in 2017, with still no Madison Bumgarner or Jeff Samardzija. The former was moved to the 60-day DL last week, so he won’t be back until the end of May at the earliest. Samardzija is, at least, on his way back, though his rehab start on Saturday saw him give up six runs in 2.2 innings of work against High-A hitters. If that’s his form, bit of a shame we won’t be seeing him at Chase Field this series. Instead, we start with Cueto, who is likely the nearest thing the Giants have to an ace right now. But Corbin has been pretty impressive himself so far: if we get a win tonight, I’ll be thinking optimistically of a sweep in the series.