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D-backs Preview #21/22: 4/25 @ Braves

Spin the Wheel o’ Bumgarner...

MLB: APR 18 Diamondbacks at Nationals Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We’ll therefore be treating this as the preview thread for both games tomorrow, and will update as appropriate. Each game will have its own Gameday Thread, with the first going up at 10 am, Arizona time. Justin is on the guest recap for that, with Turambar carrying forward his beercap to the second game.

D-backs line-up (UPDATED)

Today's Lineups

Pavin Smith - 1B Ronald Acuna - RF
Kole Calhoun - RF Freddie Freeman - 1B
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Marcell Ozuna - LF
David Peralta - LF Ozzie Albies - 2B
Josh VanMeter - 2B Dansby Swanson - SS
Stephen Vogt - C Guillermo Heredia - CF
Nick Ahmed - SS Austin Riley - 3B
Nick Heath - CF Alex Jackson - C
Zac Gallen - RHP Bryse Wilson - RHP

Kole Calhoun

Kole Calhoun recounted the foul ball that was caught by a young fan last night, as he attempted to make the catch himself. He recounted how excited he was as a kid in spring training in the late 90’s chasing foul balls and getting one from Tony Gwynn. He told the young man he was going to be all over Sportscenter tonight, to which the kid replied “I’m already blowing up on TikTok”. Kole is traveling with his family and having his kids with him helps him keep perspective. Win or lose, to the kids he still just has to be a dad. He mentioned the kids were most excited to meet all the mascots on the trip.

Kole Calhoun audio [or link]

Pavin Smith

A lot of discussion about the transition to center. Prior to the Washington series he had never played CF at any level in any game, all the way back to little league. It had never crossed his mind that he would play CF but he’s having fun running around out there. He was nervous at first, but had a couple of plays early and that took the nerves off. “It wasn’t as hard as I psyched myself up for it to be”

Leading off frequently is “cool” because you know you are going to get at least five at-bats, so if you make a couple of outs you still have three chances to help the team. His approach doesn’t change regardless of where in the order he hits. But he had to learn to take his time getting to the plate after the pitcher makes an out. He expressed gratitude to older veterans like Nick Ahmed and David Peralta for helping him with the “unwritten rules” and helping him know where and when to be at.

Pavin Smith audio [or link]

Torey Lovullo notes

  • He’s impressed with the transition that Pavin Smith has made. They felt comfortable with him on the corners and through the evaluations of his corner work Dave McKay indicated he could be used in an emergency in CF. But he acknowledged it’s fairly rare for a player to step in like that in a position he’s never played before to do this well.
  • Tim Locastro is getting his stitches out Monday and will be ‘game ready” immediately after.
  • Christian Walker is still only taking cage swings. Next step is live BP but that hasn’t happened yet.
  • Ketel Marte is “bat ready” but he’s not fully tested the running yet.
  • Joakim Soria will throw to live hitters today, and then they’ll get him off the mound and work on Pitcher Fielding Practice to make sure he’s able to handle those reps
  • Nick Ahmed is batting lead-off today, because facing lefties is usually a good match-up for him and they want to get him as many PA as possible

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]


Deciding Factors on Gallen game 1, and Bumgarner game 2:

Got word of Braves pitcher switch instigated some different batting matchups, which in turn changed the defense composition, and they felt this was a better fit for a Gallen start.

Madison Bumgarner did not throw any warmups yesterday. He had just started his pre-game routine on the treadmill when the game was called an hour before first pitch.

Game 2 lineup may not be exactly the same as originally written yesterday. He has to be mindful of workloads

Riley Smith is eligible for BOTH games of the double header. The 27th man can be designated eligible for both games if both teams mutually agree within one hour of the postponement.

Interesting comments regarding the difference in playing 7 inning games. Torey has stated before this is his least favorite rule change.

You know the last 2 innings of a baseball game are the most exciting and most intense. There’s a buildup, tensions increase through the first 7 innings, and then you’ve got to go out and execute at a high level to win a MLB game in the 8th & 9th inning. So that gets eliminated because I think the buildup is lessened. But the game is equally important and you’ve got to execute at that same high level. In my mind you start to maneuver and change and do things differently by a couple of innings. The 5th inning is where things start to happen like it’s the 7th inning (in a regular game).