|LOS ANGELES DODGERS||ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS|
|Joc Pederson - CF||David Peralta - LF|
|Corey Seager - SS||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Yasiel Puig - RF||Paul Goldschmidt - 1B|
|Yasmani Grandal - C||A.J. Pollock - CF|
|Cody Bellinger - 1B||Chris Owings - RF|
|Matt Kemp - LF||Jake Lamb - 3B|
|Chase Utley - 2B||Nick Ahmed - SS|
|Logan Forsythe - 3B||Alex Avila - C|
|Hyun-Jin Ryu - LHP||Taijuan Walker - RHP|
That last time was, of course, Game 3 of the 2017 National League Division Series, where the Dodgers completed the sweep with a 3-1 win over the D-backs. It was the first playoff game Arizona had lost on home turf since the 2007 NLCS series against the Rockies, and was likely one of the more irritating games I’ve been to at Chase Field. Tonight, we start Taijuan Walker, and will certainly be hoping for much better than he provided in Game 2 of the NLDS, where he lasted exactly one inning, allowing four runs on four hits and two walks. Was it the pressure of his first post-season appearance, which triggered the worst playoff start in franchise history? [And, by a full two innings, the shortest too]
Taijuan had actually done reasonably well prior to that outing. Over his three starts against the Dodgers in the regular 2017 season, he went an undefeated 2-0, and had allowed six runs over 16.2 innings for an ERA of 3.24, with a K:BB of 17:5. That’s likely closer to what we’ll want to see tonight, though it would be nice if he could perhaps pitch a bit deeper into games - we’re still waiting for the first Diamondbacks’ starter to make it through a full six innings this season. On the offensive side, we see the first of three straight left-handed starters who’ll be sent up by Los Angeles, so we’ll see how Lovullo handles line-up construction as a result.
Couple of bits of news out of this afternoon’s press conferences, including this optimistic bit of news about our wounder outfielder.
#Dbacks mgr Torey Lovullo says OF Steven Souza threw from 90 feet today and took soft toss in cage. Big steps forward for him.— Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB) April 2, 2018
And this little nugget from the Byung-Hyun Kim chat on Twitter this afternoon:
I preferred starting and wish I had started my career as a starting pitcher, but I respected the team's decision and did my best. I think pitching too many games as a closer tired me out. I always had the mindset of a starter. #BKChat https://t.co/RM2ksTVzFy— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 2, 2018