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Preview, #120: 8/13 @ Rangers

Into the land of the DH go the D-backs again.

Baltimore Orioles v New York Mets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

David Peralta - LF Shin-Soo Choo - DH
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Rougned Odor - 2B
A.J. Pollock - CF Elvis Andrus - SS
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Adrian Beltre - 3B
Steven Souza - RF Joey Gallo - RF
Ketel Marte - 2B Robinson Chirinos - C
Daniel Descalso - DH Ronald Guzman - 1B
Nick Ahmed - SS Willie Calhoun - LF
Jeff Mathis - C Delino DeShields Jr. - CF

Here’s to a repeat of the last time the Diamondbacks played in Texas. That was in 2015, another two-game series like this one. They swept both games, winning 4-2 and 7-4, with recent returnee Brad Ziegler getting the save in each, and making a winner of Robbie Ray and Randall Delgado respectively. But prior to that, it had been a tough go for Arizona when they faced the Rangers on the road: overall, our record there is still only 6-12. We’ll certainly want to improve on that, especially with the top of our rotation taking the mound. We handled Bartolo Colon comfortably enough a couple of weeks ago at Chase Field, Arizona winning 6-0, and I expect nothing less tonight.

It’s a particular shame we have the DH in effect, as we have one of the best-hitting current pitchers going up against one of the worst. Of 35 active MLB pitchers with at least 300 PA [it lists Carlos Zambrano, who last pitched in the majors in 2012, because he came out of retirement last month to play for the Leones de Yucatán - I’m not counting him]. Greinke is first by OPS at .578, and Colon 34th at .199. Still better than Charlie Morton’s .176, and that’s it. Instead of the joy and amusement to be gained from watching Bartolo bat, we instead get to watch Shin-Soo Choo take his turn at the plate instead. That’s weak sauce indeed.

Y’see, this is what supporters of the DH fail to understand. Yes, players hit “better” than pitchers. But entertainment value is not necessarily based purely on what’s “best”. The fun to be had comes from other things, such as the resulting complexity of managerial tactics. Though I admit, I enjoy watching Colon hit for much the same reason we will be tuning into the SyFy Channel every night this week, to see films with titles like 6-Headed Shark Attack, as we work up to the premiere of Sharknado on Sunday night. For failure can be just as entertaining as success: this is why great baseball films include things like Major League and The Bad News Bears.