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Preview #13: 8/6, Diamondbacks vs. Astros

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What a difference a day makes.

Houston Astros v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

ASTROS DIAMONDBACKS
George Springer - CF Ketel Marte - 2B
Jose Altuve - 2B Kole Calhoun - RF
Alex Bregman - 3B Starling Marte - CF
Michael Brantley - DH Christian Walker - 1B
Yuli Gurriel - 1B Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Carlos Correa - SS David Peralta - LF
Josh Reddick - RF Carson Kelly - C
Kyle Tucker - LF Andy Young - DH
Martin Maldonado - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Brandon Bielak - RHP Zac Gallen - RHP

Going into last night’s game, the D-backs had 392 collective PAs. But the offensive surge after the roof was open still had a very significant impact on the team’s stats for the season. Arizona’s batting average improved in a single game by 22 points, their OPS by eighty-four points, and they scored more than in any other three games this year combined. And, of course, they tripled their home-run production, going from two to six home-runs over the course of the evening. Admittedly, no-one in the National League still has fewer home-runs, but at least the Diamondbacks are now tied with the Brewers and Cardinals. Though both have played significantly fewer games (nine for Milwaukee, just five for St. Louis).

I think there’s still some regression to be done, hopefully. The OPS may be up to .623, but that’s still fourteenth in the NL, ahead only of the Pirates. About the only area where the Diamondbacks are reasonably ranked, is in walks where their 37 matches the league average. Again, however, this is helped by the fact that they have been able to complete their schedule so far. Arizona are also third in doubles, helped by having league leader in that category, Christian Walker. So there’s that. But one swallow does not make a summer, and the team still sits 4 games below .500. Winning this afternoon, to take their first series of the year, will help me believe last night wasn’t just a fluke.

Pre-game audio from Torey Lovullo

Some interesting story lines in today’s pregame. You probably want to give the audio a listen, to get the full impact

  • Torey got somewhat emotional in describing his feelings and relationship with Illdemaro Vargas. Very tough to say goodbye to a good human being and terrific clubhouse guy.
  • Archie’s gesture towards the Astros last night, flipping the bird after Ahmed’s homerun) is not the right way to express emotions, he does not approve and will relay that to Archie.
  • However, according to Bradley. he “was NOT flipping off the Astros last night during the game. Per Bradley, he was flipping off his own teammates for not showing love to the bullpen during their big offensive inning.” Archie added, “he wishes he could ‘shit-talk the Astros’ and say he hates them.”
  • Lovullo also was not happy to see a number of players not wearing their facemasks, He’s all in on the new guidelines and appreciates MLB trying to adapt and tighten things up.
  • Lance McCullers complained about roof being open mid game. Teams were advise 20 minutes before the game started this would be happening.
  • Andy Young in lineup instead of a lefty, as the Astros starter is a “cutter pitcher” and they believe there is a tendency towards reverse splits and him being tough on lefties.
  • Jake Lamb’s role going forward. For the time being, Torey will be “looking elsewhere” for production vs RHSP. It’s not a “death sentence” as far as Lamb’s future playing time, but for now his role is off the bench.