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Diamondbacks Game Preview #146: 9/18 vs. Padres

Ryne Nelson seeks to repeat his stellar debut against these same Padres.

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Diego Padres Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Jurickson Profar - LF Josh Rojas - 3B
Juan Soto - RF Daulton Varsho - RF
Manny Machado - DH Jake McCarthy - DH
Brandon Drury - 3B Christian Walker - 1B
Jake Cronenworth - 2B Ketel Marte - 2B
Ha-Seong Kim - SS Corbin Carroll - LF
Wil Myers - 1B Alek Thomas - CF
Austin Nola - C Cooper Hummel - C
Jose Azocar - CF Geraldo Perdomo - SS
Yu Darvish - RHP Ryne Nelson - RHP

Roster moves

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Recalled RHP Luis Frias (No. 65) from Triple-A Reno.
  • Placed RHP Keynan Middleton on the 15-day injured list (sprained left great toe).

Well, that is certainly... something? Firstly, I've not heard it called a "great" toe before. I guess it is more medically appropriate than "big" toe. But doesn't that run the risk of leaving all the other, not so great toes with an inferiority complex? What about their feelings? Also: how you sprain your big toe? Part of me suspects Torey simply rolled a 00 on the "Fictitious Ailments to get a fresh arm" chart. Writing this caused me to divert briefly down the rabbit hole of such things. It'll be useful the next time I need to call in sick. "Yeah, sorry, I won't be in today. Got a terrible case of... [mouse click] Restless Blight." Wonder if Middleton went all Caleb Smith after his latest suboptimal outing, and kicked something in the dugout he shouldn't have.

It's sometimes funny what a difference one game makes. Yesterday's loss means that, rather than looking to take three of four, we now need to win this afternoon, simply to salvage a split of the four-game series. After the opener, it felt like victory was all but assured. Even Madison Bumgarner's loss on Friday was largely expected. But Zac Gallen taking an L for the first time since early June was disappointing, even if the result was much more on the impotence of the D-backs offense. Since leaving Coors Field a week ago, Arizona has scored a total of 12 runs across the six games of this homestand, and been shutout half the time. That’s quite some Denver hangover. 11 of the 12 runs have come on homers.

I guess how you interpret that statistic largely depends on your baseball philosophy. Some will say it indicates the team needs to play more small-ball. Others will think it demonstrates how irrelevant that approach is in the modern game of launch angles and true outcomes. Me? I don’t care how runs score, just as long as they do. This afternoon, however, I’ll be most interested to see how Ryne Nelson fares, facing the Padres for the second time this week. He blanked them for seven innings in his MLB debut, so I’m sure San Diego will be taking a different approach today. The dance between pitcher and hitters is key to long-term success, and so this might even be a more important outing for Nelson than his first start.