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Preview #76: 6/23 @ Pirates

What shape are we in after last night’s marathon? And how long can we expect out of Zack Greinke.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Jon Jay - RF Austin Meadows - RF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Corey Dickerson - LF
Jake Lamb - 3B Starling Marte - CF
David Peralta - LF Colin Moran - 3B
Daniel Descalso - 2B Elias Diaz - C
Chris Owings - CF Josh Bell - 1B
Nick Ahmed - SS Jordy Mercer - SS
Jeff Mathis - C Sean Rodriguez - 2B
Zack Greinke - RHP Joe Musgrove - RHP

Last night’s 13-inning game in Pittsburgh was the second longest of the season for Arizona, trailing only the 15-inning, 8-7 win over the Dodgers on April 2. However, the bullpen should be in relatively good shape for this afternoon’s contest against the Pirates, even though it took six Diamondbacks’ relievers to combine for the win last night. Having an off-day on Wednesday probably helped, and Zack Godley then had a quality start in the series opener on Thursday, going six innings. Most of the remaining nine outs there were obtained by Jorge De La Rosa, who worked 1.2 innings, before Jake Barrett got the last one. Those two were not used at all yesterday.

The only arm who might be unavailable, having been used in both games of this series, is Fernando Salas. He threw 8 pitches on Wednesday and 23 last night. Andrew Chafin was had the next longest inning, with 21 pitches, but everyone else was under 20, all the way down to T.J. McFarland’s impressive six-pitch 13th frame. While it would certainly be helpful for Zack Greinke to go deep into today’s game, the presence of an extra bullpen arm (leveraging Matt Koch’s rotation spot temporarily, pending the need to use it for Shelby Miller on Monday) definitely will be helpful today, and perhaps tomorrow, depending on how this game unfolds.

Six innings from Greinke will likely be the target. Of his 15 starts so far this season, exactly one-third have been longer; one-third shorter; and one-third have been six innings on the nose. The total of 90 innings works out at precisely 6.00 innings per start too, so... yeah: six innings it is! It helps that Zack has been quite efficient in his outings this year, needing a hair below sixteen pitches per frame, lower than league average (15.98 vs 16.61). This is an area at which the D-backs seem to be good. Across their other starters, Patrick Corbin is at 15.37, Matt Koch at 15.15, and Clay Buchholz leads the way with 14.91 pitches per inning. Only Zack Godley (17.54) is higher than average.