|ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS||WASHINGTON NATIONALS|
|David Peralta - LF||Trea Turner - SS|
|Jarrod Dyson - RF||Ryan Zimmerman - 1B|
|A.J. Pollock - CF||Bryce Harper - RF|
|Daniel Descalso - 3B||Howie Kendrick - 2B|
|Christian Walker - 1B||Michael Taylor - CF|
|Ketel Marte - 2B||Moises Sierra - LF|
|Alex Avila - C||Adrian Sanchez - 3B|
|Nick Ahmed - SS||Pedro Severino - C|
|Patrick Corbin - LHP||Jeremy Hellickson - RHP|
We knew it would eventually be the day, but I think we were all hoping it would always remain “tomorrow”. However, here we are: the Diamondbacks line-up this afternoon in Washington does not include Paul Goldschmidt. This hasn’t happened very often. Since the start of 2012, when he became a regular, Paul has started 894 of the 997 regular-season games played by the Diamondbacks. And about half of the ones he has missed in that time were after Goldschmidt had his hand broken at the start of August 2014 - ironically, coming off the bench in a game where he didn’t start - and missed the rest of the season. But how has the team done in games without Goldschmidt starting?
- 2012: 14-12
- 2013: 2-2
- 2014: 17-37
- 2015: 2-3
- 2016: 3-1
- 2017: 6-4
That’s kinda comforting: 9-5 in those Goldy-less starts over the last two seasons is not bad, especially considering the team as a whole was exactly at .500 over that time. However, it may be a result of picking “easier” games - like today, where we’re facing Jeremy Hellickson - where the team can better withstand the absence of their MVP. It’s clear Torey Lovullo did try and give Paul more rest last year, though considering the slump into which Goldschmidt fell at the end of the season, I’m not sure how effective it was, in terms of stamina at least. Perhaps that’s why Lovullo has reined that approach back a bit, waiting until the 26th game of the season before giving Goldy his first day off.
With the team sending Patrick Corbin to the mound, I have to feel optimistic about Arizona’s chances of securing a ninth series win this afternoon. Corbin has been awesome to watch, fully deserving the NL Player of the Week award he recently won, and I’m looking forward to seeing him in action this afternoon. He has a K:BB ratio of 48:6 so far, and while that’s surely unsustainable, he has coupled a high K-rate with remarkable efficiency. He has fanned 12.96 batters per nine innings, and 6.2 innings per start, despite averaging only 96 pitches. His pitches per PA isn’t particularly low, but he’s allowing so few base-runners, his innings are typically quick.