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Preview, #159: 9/25 vs. Cardinals

Hello again, Chase Field. It’s like we never left...

Christmas awakening (Floral gift), woodcut from Moderne Kunst (Modern Art), illustrated magazine published by Richard Bong, 1892-1893, Year VII, No 4, Christmas Issue, Berlin

Today's Lineups

Tommy Edman - 3B Tim Locastro - CF
Jose Martinez - RF Abraham Almonte - RF
Rangel Ravelo - 1B Wilmer Flores - 2B
Matt Wieters - C Jake Lamb - 3B
Tyler O'Neill - LF Kevin Cron - 1B
Randy Arozarena - CF Josh Rojas - LF
Yairo Munoz - SS Nick Ahmed - SS
Edmundo Sosa - 2B Caleb Joseph - C
Michael Wacha - RHP Merrill Kelly - RHP

It’s safe to say that both teams are largely rolling out their B-lineups this afternoon at Chase. There were 12 men who played all 19 innings last night - four on the Diamondbacks and, remarkably, all eight Cardinals position players. Of those dozen men, only three - Tommy Erdman, Nick Ahmed and Josh Rojas - are back in the starting line-up again today. That trio must have done something really to piss off their manager. But I’m probably a bit more concerned about the pitching, with Arizona’s bullpen having thrown a total of 226 pitches last night. All credit to them, incidentally: they struck out 22 batters and walked only two, though given the way both sides were swinging at slop. that may deserve an asterisk!

T.J. McFarland will probably be the first man out of the bullpen after Merrill Kelly throws his 100 pitches. McFarland threw only four pitches last night, and that was his first appearance since Saturday. He has been very lightly used this month, having thrown only 51 pitches in total for September. Robbie Scott is another probable contender. He threw just two pitches in Tuesday/Wednesday’s game. While he did throw 13 on Monday, that was his first appearance since the 15th. Jimmie Sherfy tossed five pitches, but also worked Monday (14). Archie Bradley might be available. He threw 16, in his first appearance since Saturday. Hopefully Kelly can toss a complete game and render it all moot!

It’s the kind of game which feels largely irrelevant. It’d be nice for the D-backs to take it, and clinch a winning record, at least as good as last season’s record. That would be a nice way to go into a (much-needed!) off-day tomorrow, before the final series of the season against the Marlins. But last night’s game basically counts as two wins in my book, so Arizona can’t lose the series. :) You will, however, understand if I am not around much for this one, after little more than five hours sleep. It’s going to be hard enough to get through work today, without having to pay attention to a baseball game. Even though part of me does want this contest to going another 19 innings...