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D-backs Game Preview, #16: 4/24 vs. Mets

Another series that won’t be a sweep in either direction

Houston Astros v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

METS DIAMONDBACKS
Mark Canha - LF Daulton Varsho - CF
Starling Marte - RF Sergio Alcantara - 3B
Francisco Lindor - SS David Peralta - LF
Pete Alonso - 1B Christian Walker - 1B
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Seth Beer - DH
J.D. Davis - DH Jake McCarthy - RF
Luis Guillorme - 2B Geraldo Perdomo - 2B
James McCann - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Travis Jankowski - CF Jose Herrera - C
Tylor Megill - RHP M. Bumgarner - LHP

Roster moves

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Recalled RHP Taylor Widener (No. 57) from Triple-A Reno.
  • Placed RHP Humberto Castellanos on the Paternity List.

Well, that definitely adds an extra level of impressiveness to Castellanos’s performance last night, picking up the W against a team that came in to the game with the best record in the major leagues. Reminds me a bit of the time we had a starter - forget who, sure someone will remind me (as my Google-fu is falling short!) - come back of paternity leave and twirl a gem the next night. All the best to him and his family, both existing and impending. I would imagine he’ll be back in time for his scheduled start on Thursday, with Widener operating as an extra long-man out of the bullpen until then.

Despite the Diamondbacks slow start to the season, with the team still looking for their first series victory, they have so far been able to avoid being swept. Indeed, the only series where that was a possibility before the final game, was the two-game set against the Astros. This series has, so far, paralleled the one against the Mets in New York. They took the first game, and the D-backs leveled the series in the second, setting up a decider for the series finale. Hopefully today will go better than it did there, where Arizona were blanked 5-0. I’d quite like for us to win the series. For reasons I can’t quite put my finger on, I find this current Mets team quite unlikable, and would enjoy the D-backs taking them down a peg or two.

We’ll probably need the offense to continue their recent up-tick. Relatively small sample-size (159 PA), but over the past four games, their hitting has been considerably better, with a line of .271/.327/.471 for a .798 OPS. That’s a hell of a lot better than the .156 average and .543 OPS they posted through the opening 11 contests. As a result of yesterday’s game, they did overtake the Nationals, and the D-backs team OPS for the year of .617 is now up to the dizzying heights of 13th in the NL. Woo, and in a very real sense, hoo. Next in our sights: the Milwaukee Brewers at .629, though league average of .682 should be the long-term goal.

As Jack mentioned in the Snake Bytes comments today, offense is down this year, with home-runs particularly down. I find it of particular note in the National League which, of course, saw the replacement of pitchers hitting with the designated hitter. Yet OPS in our league is still 21 points down on April 2021 (.682 vs. .703) - almost entirely due to a twenty-point drop in slugging. There have been just 0.88 home-runs per NL team game, which is 0.31 lower than last season. If sustained, it would be the second-lowest figure during the past thirty years (ahead only of 2014’s 0.83). Such a sudden and sharp drop definitely doesn’t seem organic. Something to keep an eye on going forward, to be sure.