|ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS||SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS|
|Jarrod Dyson - CF||Joe Panik - 2B|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Pablo Sandoval - 1B|
|Jake Lamb - 3B||Andrew McCutchen - RF|
|Daniel Descalso - 2B||Brandon Crawford - SS|
|David Peralta - LF||Evan Longoria - 3B|
|Chris Owings - RF||Mac Williamson - LF|
|Alex Avila - C||Nick Hundley - C|
|Nick Ahmed - SS||Austin Jackson - CF|
|Clay Buchholz - RHP||Chris Stratton - RHP|
Yes, not available on your regular networks today: it’s one of those pesky “Facebook only” games. Normally, I’d simply ignore it, and do something else instead - especially with it being a day game - but I am also your scheduled recapper today. Probably explains why Keegan was “unable” to cover this one. :) Here’s the link. According to MLB.com. “MLB Network will produce the game with play-by-play man Rich Waltz, analysts Eric Byrnes and Mike Krukow and in-game reporter Ashley Adamson.: Oh, yes: Eric Byrnes. It gets better, doesn’t it? Apparently, “D-backs fans will be familiar with Byrnes, who endeared himself to Arizona with his hustle and athleticism while manning the D-backs’ outfield from 2006-09.”
Uh, about that...
Anyway, Clay Buchholz starts for the Diamondbacks, and we’ll see if he can continue his Matrix-like approach to pitching. By which I mean, allowing a ton of balls in play, but surprisingly few hits. After a pair of two-hit outings, last time against the Marlins was actually the most encouraging outing, despite the seven hits allowed, as Buchholz struck out nine, compared to five over his his first two outings combined. That helped reduce his expected ERA (FIP) to 3.33: that is, however, still more than twice his actual ERA of 1.50. I am fairly confident in saying the latter figure will not be sustained. But if he continues to have outings with a K:BB of 9:1, he’ll probably be okay.
Hard to say who has the pitching edge in this one. The Giants’ Chris Stratton has won his last four starts, though only one was a quality outing, the other three being “five and dive”, with an overall ERA in that quartet of 4.29, which doesn’t generally scream 4-0. But he did blank the Phillies for six innings last time out, on four hits, with a K:BB of 7:1. The D-backs haven’t had a lot of luck, with a line of .185/.289/.277, over a total of 77 PAs; unsurprisingly, Paul Goldschmidt leads the pack with an .861 OPS. Only three Giants have faced Buchholz, but they have more PA in total: Evan Longoria in particular has the most experience, with 59 PA vs Clay, and a .722 OPS.