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Preview #65: 6/11 vs. Pirates

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The Pirates are in town. So let’s discuss hit batters...

Divisional Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

PITTSBURGH PIRATES ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Josh Harrison - 2B Daniel Descalso - LF
Austin Meadows - RF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Starling Marte - CF Jake Lamb - 3B
David Freese - 3B John Ryan Murphy - C
Corey Dickerson - LF David Peralta - RF
Elias Diaz - C Ketel Marte - 2B
Josh Bell - 1B Chris Owings - CF
Jordy Mercer - SS Nick Ahmed - SS
Joe Musgrove - RHP Patrick Corbin - LHP

A bit of a surprise roster move this afternoon. Christian Walker, who had been called up to stand-in while Jeff Mathis was on the paternity list, got himself sent back down, to be replaced by Braden Shipley. It’s a bullpen move: Shipley’s last five outings have been as a reliever since he came off the disabled list in the second half of last month. Hopefully, this will prove less spectral than his previous one: Shipley took the place of #NotNotKrisMedlen on the roster, but got bumped with an elbow issue before even appearing in a game, and lost his spot to Silvino “brought to you by Greyhound” Bracho. When he recovered, he was sent back to Reno, and has a 6.75 ERA over 9.1 innings, with a K:BB of 8:5.

The Pirates show up, and it’s interesting they do so, on the heels of the latest hit by pitch issue involving the D-backs. The question of retaliation for Paul Goldschmidt being hit on Saturday has raised its head, though it appears Torey Lovullo is fairly reluctant to go down that road. There was a time, a few years ago, when the Pirates were the enemy: they led the league in hit batters three seasons in a row including the time they broke Goldschmidt’s hand, costing him two months of the season. This year, it’s the Cardinals that hold top spot, with 30 HBP - only the Dodgers and Reds have fewer than the D-backs’ 20 to date. But Arizona are dead-last in being hit, at 14.

If you look at the entire history of the franchise, the Rockies are the team most likely to hit the D-backs, having done so 121 times. That’s ahead of the other divisional rivals, with the Dodgers (111) in second, ahead of the Padres (108) and Giants (98). Obviously, the number of games is a factor, but among the rest of the NL, the Mets have the lowest PA per plunking, having hit us 54 times in 5,472 PA. The Angels (11 in 998 PA) are the MLB leaders in rate of snake-smacking, but the American League also gives us the least aggressive team, the Tigers having only four HBP in 1,281 plate appearances versus us. For your amusement, here is the full chart.