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Preview #75: 6/22 @ Pirates

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San Diego Padres v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Jon Jay - RF Josh Harrison - 2B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Austin Meadows - RF
Jake Lamb - 3B Starling Marte - CF
David Peralta - LF David Freese - 3B
Ketel Marte - 2B Elias Diaz - C
Nick Ahmed - SS Jose Osuna - 1B
Jarrod Dyson - CF Jordy Mercer - SS
Jeff Mathis - C Sean Rodriguez - LF
Patrick Corbin - LHP Ivan Nova - RHP

Yeah, this one is up in the air at the moment - literally, though the presence of a tarp on the field at PNC Park does not necessarily mean the game will be postponed or even delayed. It has been a long time since the D-backs had a game entirely canceled Steve Gilbert informs us, “The last time the #Dbacks had a game postponed was when their May 5, 2015 game against the #Rockies at Coors Field was rained out.” That gives the team a streak of 536 consecutive contests without a rain-out, which is the longest in the majors. Obviously, playing all your home games at a stadium with a retractable roof is a BIT of a help: Second on the list currently - again, per Gilbert - are the Marlins, at 219 games.

Though I guess if we end up needing another starting pitcher as the result of a double-header, at least we have an obvious candidate in the recently optioned Matt Koch. As for tonight’s line-up, no place for Alex Avila despite him having his best game of the season yesterday. @WHAT DOES HE HAVE TO DO TO GET REGULAR PLAYING TIME!!!!@ Dammit, sarcasm font doesn’t work in articles... But it is worth noting that Avila’s OPS since June 2, while still a paltry .460, is actually better than John Ryan Murphy’s .406 over the same time-frame. Wonder what the reaction would be on Twitter if I dropped that particular truth-bomb?

Jeff Mathis, on the other hand, has a .833 OPS in the same time. Of course, that’s been with very limited playing time for him, basically catching Zack Greinke. His last start as a battery-mate for anyone else was back on May 25, also a Patrick Corbin appearance. Since then, Mathis hasn’t even had a pinch-hit appearance, it has been absolutely nothing but Greinke starts. It will be interesting to see how the team splits up playing time down the stretch and whether Mathis is just going to be seen once every five games. If last night was indeed a turning point for Avila, then I can see a scenario where he and Murphy end up splitting our other four starters the rest of the season. We’ll see who catches Shelby Miller on Monday.