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Preview, #32: 5/4 vs. Astros

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May the fourth be with you... How appropriate to be playing the Astros.

San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

HOUSTON ASTROS ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
George Springer - RF David Peralta - LF
Jose Altuve - 2B Jarrod Dyson - RF
Carlos Correa - SS Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Yulieski Gurriel - 1B A.J. Pollock - CF
Josh Reddick - LF Daniel Descalso - 3B
Alex Bregman - 3B Chris Owings - 2B
Max Stassi - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Jake Marisnick - CF Alex Avila - C
Gerrit Cole - RHP Kris Medlen - RHP

I don’t think anyone is under any illusions. This series will present the sternest challenge of 2018 for the Diamondbacks, and it’ll be quite the feat if they emerge from things on Sunday, still undefeated in series. That’s perhaps especially the case tonight, as they turn to the newly-recalled Kris Medlen to start for them - in corresponding roster moves, Silvino Bracho went back down to the minors (for, I kid you not, the 14th time!), and Taijuan Walker was moved to the 60-day DL to open up a roster spot. At one point, Medlen was really good: in 2013, he went 13-6 for Atlanta, with an ERA+ of 121, after getting MVP mention in balloting the previous year.

But he then needed a second Tommy John procedure, and over the four-plus seasons since, has only appeared in 21 major-league games, putting up an 83 ERA+. His last appearance was almost two years ago, on May 10, 2016, lasting just two innings in a start for the Royals against the Yankees. From there, it’s a weird story, told by Zach Buchanan in The Atlantic today. A YouTube coach dissected Medlen’s actions, found what he thought was the flaw and the video was seen by the pitcher’s wife. Medlen, on the edge of retirement, decided to stick around, and let the coach “rebuild” him. Now, he’s on the verge of the majors again.

All we need for the music to swell and Hollywood to come knocking on the door, is Medlen to beat Gerrit Cole tonight. Cole has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 61 batters over 41.2 innings of work so far. #ChallengeAccepted. Elsewhere, Jake Lamb’s return might be a bit delayed, as his should had a bit of inflammation, and got a cortisone shot. Nothing to be too concerned about, apparently, and he’ll start a throwing program Sunday. If I’d to guess, and there are no more setbacks, maybe get him back for the Milwaukee series mid-month? The offense could probably use the help, based on the past couple of nights - and it doesn’t seem likely this weekend will be a slugfest for us! Still, that’s why we play the games!