|ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS||ST. LOUIS CARDINALS|
|David Peralta - LF||Dexter Fowler - RF|
|Ketel Marte - SS||Tommy Pham - CF|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Matt Carpenter - 3B|
|A.J. Pollock - CF||Marcell Ozuna - LF|
|Daniel Descalso - 3B||Jose Martinez - 1B|
|Chris Owings - 2B||Yadier Molina - C|
|Jarrod Dyson - RF||Paul DeJong - SS|
|Jeff Mathis - C||Kolten Wong - 2B|
|Zack Greinke - RHP||Michael Wacha - RHP|
A little chilly in St. Louis this weekend. Google tells me the temperature right now (just before 9am Arizona time) is 31 F, which seems terribly unseasonable as far as I’m concerned. Maybe MLB simply needs to keep everyone in spring training for the month of April, and play all scheduled games in Florida and Arizona. The good news is, the weather seems to be looking a little better for Sunday’s game: while it’s still not going to be exactly warm, the chance of precipitation seems to have dropped to about 20%. But that increases substantially after about 5pm there, so I’m expecting to see quite a lot of first-pitch hacking tomorrow afternoon.
The D-backs will look to move to 7-1 this afternoon, which would be a franchise record start to the season. They’ve gone 6-2 on a number of occasions: four times, in fact. While it’s still VERY early days, obviously, it’s worth noting that three of those (2000, 2007 and 2017) went on to lead to a post-season appearance. The sole exception was 2008, when the Diamondbacks had a great first month, before melting like snow on Coors Field. As we’ve discussed already, a good start many not guarantee you a spot in the playoffs, but it undeniably improves the odds of one.
Zack Greinke starts for Arizona, and should presumably be back up to full length, after being somewhat limited in his pitch-count for his first game, against the Rockies. He threw 83 pitches there, which was fewer than in all but one of his starts last season - and the exception was his final start, against the Royals, when he was pulled early for wild-card game purposes. It was actually one more than he threw on his first Opening Day for us, in 2016, when Colorado took it to him, but otherwise, all his first games going back to 2007 had been in the nineties, pitch-wise. Should not be an issue here, as long he doesn’t catch frostbite. Wonder if they’ll let him pitch with gloves on? :)