|ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS||ST. LOUIS CARDINALS|
|David Peralta - LF||Dexter Fowler - RF|
|Ketel Marte - 2B||Tommy Pham - CF|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Matt Carpenter - 3B|
|A.J. Pollock - CF||Marcell Ozuna - LF|
|Daniel Descalso - 3B||Jose Martinez - 1B|
|Alex Avila - C||Yadier Molina - C|
|Nick Ahmed - SS||Paul DeJong - SS|
|Jarrod Dyson - RF||Kolten Wong - 2B|
|Taijuan Walker - RHP||Luke Weaver - RHP|
We’ll see whether Mother Nature is kind enough to let today’s game go ahead. The forecast currently seems to look worse as we move into early evening, but fingers crossed, the teams will be able to squeeze this one in before things close up. It’s never any fun having a game postponed against a non-divisional opponent, especially when you’re on the road. Because re-arranging the contest then inevitably involves an additional trip back there at some point, on a mutual off-day between games in other places. This is not anyone’s idea of fun. It’s truly weird to be discussing a game potentially called due to snow, as I look out at bright blue skies and an expected high of 92F.
As expected, Christian Walker was called up to take the place of Matt Koch. Koch’s role as an extra arm in the bullpen while it recovered from the 15-inning marathon against the Dodgers, was no longer needed, between the off-day on Friday and Fernando Salas being the only other reliever used yesterday, so we can go back to a more standard configuration of seven relievers and five position players on the bench. He does provide a bit of potential thump from the right-hand side. That’s something we had been lacking, with the other RHB there being Jeff Mathis, Deven Marrero and John Ryan Murphy. They have career slugging percentages of .308, .306 and .341 respectively.
Taijuan Walker makes his second start, after a rather meh first one: he allowed three runs in five innings, on eight hits and with an 4:2 K:BB. Hopefully he’ll do a bit better today, and stay away from the big inning that doomed Zack Greinke in yesterday’s game. Still, the D-backs enter the final battle with a chance to win a series on the road, which is always welcome. A victorious road-trip would be more than welcome, and taking this one would go a good way towards that goal. It’d also help put more daylight between us and the rest of the West. Speaking of whom, can I just say LOLPadres and LOLDodgers, both losing their games last night in...ah, “memorable” fashion? Almost as good as a D-backs win...