|WASHINGTON NATIONALS||ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS|
|Trea Turner - SS||David Peralta - LF|
|Bryce Harper - RF||Daniel Descalso - 3B|
|Howie Kendrick - 2B||Paul Goldschmidt - 1B|
|Matt Adams - LF||A.J. Pollock - CF|
|Mark Reynolds - 1B||Steven Souza - RF|
|Michael Taylor - CF||Chris Owings - 2B|
|Pedro Severino - C||Alex Avila - C|
|Jeremy Hellickson - RHP||Ketel Marte - SS|
|Wilmer Difo - 3B||Zack Godley - RHP|
It never ceases to amaze me how fickle some fans are. We lose our first series of the year, and the recap comments show rats fleeing off the ship they perceive to be sinking. But look at the three losses this series. We drop game one on a balk, then face two of the top eight starting pitchers in the majors this decade, while sending out replacement starters AND going hitless with runners in scoring position. These contests should not even have been close: they should have been blowouts of a Gerrit Cole vs. Kris Medlen proportion. Yet we lose them by a combined margin of three runs. It’s very easy to see a scenario where we come into this finale having secured a split, rather than trying to avoid a sweep.
That said, man: our clutch hitting. Woo-hee. Last time we had a hit with runners in scoring position? Zack Greinke’s RBI single on Thursday, since when we are 0-for-16. It has been more than a week and six games since the Diamondbacks have managed more than a single RISP hit in the same contest, and their May average is now down to .143 (11-for-77). I know the team’s average generally has been low of late, but it’s not below a buck fifty. This will turn around. It’d be nice if it started to do so today, and Jeremy Hellickson seems like exactly the sort of pitcher who we should do well against. Although he was decent when we faced him in Washington, getting a no-decision and allowing two runs in 5.1 innings.
Godley got the win when he saw the Nationals in that seriees, but it was a really ugly one, allowing ten hits in five innings. He faced the Dodgers his last two outings, and the problem has continued to be his lack of control. Over his last three outings, Godley has a K:BB ratio of 13:10 in 16.2 innings, which is terrible, especially consider it was better than 3:1 last year. He’ll need to do better to be successful against the Nationals, especially the top of their order, which has the capacity to do a lot of damage. I’m going to predict that the offense comes alive this evening, in front of a nationally-televised audience on ESPN, and tacos are delivered for only the second time in May.
In case you missed it, there was a roster move this afternoon. Troy Scribner has been sent down to Reno, with Jimmy Sherfy coming up to take his spot. This will give the team an 8-man bullpen until we need a fifth starter again, at the end of next week. Right now, it looks likely that this will be Clay Buchholz, who starts for the Aces this afternoon, since Scribner can’t be recalled for 10 days (except in the case of a DL stint).