|Kyle Schwarber - DH||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Trea Turner - SS||Corbin Carroll - CF|
|Bryce Harper - 1B||Gabriel Moreno - C|
|Alec Bohm - 3B||Christian Walker - 1B|
|Bryson Stott - 2B||Tommy Pham - RF|
|J.T. Realmuto - C||Lourdes Gurriel - LF|
|Nick Castellanos - RF||Evan Longoria - DH|
|Brandon Marsh - LF||Emmanuel Rivera - 3B|
|Johan Rojas - CF||Geraldo Perdomo - SS|
|Ranger Suarez - LHP||Brandon Pfaadt - RHP|
Back at Chase we go, for an awkward midweek 2 pm start. It’s unfortunate for a playoff game, and is certainly going to have an impact on attendance. What had previously been a hot market for tickets has basically imploded. Checking on Seat Geek this morning, you could get in the door for $10. I suspect this may be one of the cases where the announced figure could end up close to a sell-out, because it’s based on ticket sales. But there will potentially be a large difference between that and the count at the turnstiles, between the start time and the situation in the series. Seen articles about people coming from Philadelphia for these games. I guess Phillies fans don’t have meaningful jobs. :)
Mind you, all I know about Phillies fans, I learned from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. This has been breakfast viewing in SnakePit Towers for the past few months. By coincidence, this morning, we got to episode 6, season 5. That may be some kind of an omen, with the show titled, “The World Series Defense”. In it, the gang use their efforts to attend Game 5 of the 2008 World Series, to try and get out of parking tickets. Whether it’s a good or bad omen for Philadelphia depends on how you want to read it. On the one hand, they did win Game 5, albeit after it became the first WS game to be suspended. On the other, the gang missed it, being locked in a hotel linen closet. So whatever happens today: I told you so!
After keeping the same line-up for the first seven post-season games, Torey Lovullo has shuffled things about a bit. Surprisingly, Tommy Pham is now playing the outfield - I guess his turf toe got better - with Alek Thomas consigned to the bench. Emmanuel Rivera comes in to man the hot corner, with Evan Longoria now the designated hitter instead of Pham. But it still feels substantially like the same line-up which managed only four hits in each of the first two games, so I’m just hoping they do better. More importantly, can our starting pitcher not allow three home-runs? Before the two games in Philadelphia, no Arizona pitcher had done that in the post-season. It happened both times there.
In the regular season, this has not happened often in consecutive games, but isn’t unprecedented. Indeed, on September 6-7 last year, Merrill Kelly and Tommy Henry allowed three homers apiece in San Diego, then in the next game on September 9, Zach Davies repeated the batting practice at Coors. With the homer-prone Brandon Pfaadt starting today against a free-slugging Phillies line-up, I’d be inclined to take the over on home-runs allowed. On the other hand, he shut the Dodgers down in the third game of the Division Series, and they were arguably a better offensive team than the Phillies (regular-season OPS+ 113 vs. 109). We’ll see. As noted, it’s unlikely to be worse than Game 2!