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Preview #89: 7/6 vs. Padres

#YCPB shares a great deal with the theory of alternate dimensions. Watch the last 30 minutes of Interstellar for a summary if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Then read this preview.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today’s Lineups

Travis Jankowski - LF David Peralta - LF
Carlos Asuaje - 2B Nick Ahmed - SS
Eric Hosmer - 1B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Hunter Renfroe - RF A.J. Pollock - CF
Christian Villanueva- 3B Steven Souza Jr. - RF
Manuel Margot - CF Ketel Marte - 2B
Freddy Galvis - SS John Ryan Murphy - C
Austin Hedges - C Chris Owings - 3B
Joey Lucchesi - P Zack Godley - P

You might remember the last time Padres lefty Joey Lucchesi faced off against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. (*whispers softly in your ear “churve”). When Steve Berthiaume and Bob Brenly get ahold of a buzz word like “churve” or “LeMahieu shift”, they will beat it into the ground until your ears bleed. Lucchesi’s pitch is remarkable because he uses a changeup grip on the baseball but throws it with a curveball arm action. On April 22nd at Chase Field, the then 24 year old kept the D’backs scoreless before allowing a three run home run to southpaw slayer Nick Ahmed. Arizona would go on to win that contest 4-2 en route to their 7th consecutive series victory to open the season.

Overall, Arizona is hitting much better against left handed pitchers in 2018 as opposed to right handers with a triple slash of .254/.326/.443 for a 105 wRC+. Against right handers you ask? .219/.299/.372 with a wRC+ of 80. That means that the Diamondbacks as a team have been substantially better against left handed pitchers when adjusting for park factors and the environment of the league as a whole, and the margin is fairly significant. What’s ironic is that those platoon splits for the lineup are essentially flipped from last season when the team put up league average production against righties. I wouldn’t expect that much of a change year over year with roughly the same lineup excluding some changes on the edges. Remember that a big reason the team swung a trade for J.D. Martinez in 2017 was because of how poor they performed against left handed pitchers.

Zack Godley opposes Lucchesi on the mound making his 18th start of the season. It’s been a frustrating experience watching Godley this season considering the substantial forward strides he took last season. You don’t really need fancy numbers to tell you that his mechanics have not been good. Godley has been falling off of the mound to the first base side before finishing his throwing motion causing him to be erratic with his command. His curveball, which was a devastating weapon last season, has become ineffective at times because hitters anticipate that it is going to end up a ball in the dirt. They are sitting on his fastball and hitting him hard when he enters the zone. He looks to rebound from his last outing against the San Francisco Giants where he allowed 7 earned runs and 5 walks in only 4 innings.

So there you have it. The 2017 Diamondbacks on one end of the timeline split who can’t hit left handed pitchers but Zack Godley is stellar, and the 2018 Diamondbacks on the other end who look helpless against right handers while Godley repeatedly falls off the mound. Maybe in some alternate dimension the team was able to re-sign J.D. Martinez and swing a preseason trade for Manny Machado. Perhaps I’m just a lunatic who needs to quit grasping at straws.