|Marcus Semien - 2B||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Corey Seager - SS||Corbin Carroll - RF|
|Mitch Garver - DH||Gabriel Moreno - C|
|Evan Carter - LF||Christian Walker - 1B|
|Josh Jung - 3B||Tommy Pham - DH|
|Nathaniel Lowe - 1B||Lourdes Gurriel - LF|
|Jonah Heim - C||Alek Thomas - CF|
|Leody Taveras - CF||Emmanuel Rivera - 3B|
|Travis Jankowski - RF||Geraldo Perdomo - SS|
|Andrew Heaney - LHP||Joe Mantiply - LHP|
By the end of tonight, Joe Mantiply will have as many post-season starts this season, as Brandon Webb, or Hall of Famers Bob Feller and Juan Marichal, did in their entire careers. Such is the odd nature of the D-backs post-season. It feels like their familiarity with this kind of game, as well as the overall situation, might give them a bit of an advantage, both sides opting for the bullpen role tonight at Chase. The Rangers haven’t used an opener so far this post-season. The only times their starter hasn’t gone past three innings are due to injury or ineffectiveness, not by plan: two by Max Scherzer, including last night, and one in Game 4 of the ALCS when tonight’s “opener”, Andrew Heaney, could record only two outs.
A couple of line-up changes here. With a left-hander on the mound, Emmanuel Rivera gets the start at third-base for the D-backs. Perhaps more significantly, Adolis Garcia has a moderate strained oblique, and is not in the Astros’ line-up tonight. With all respect to Travis Jankowski, who replaces him in their starting nine, he doesn’t pose anything like the threat, which is why he’s batting ninth. Pitching around Corey Seager becomes almost a no-brainer for Mantiply and the other D-backs’ pitchers, given he’s now being protected by Mitch Garver who is just 1-for-11 in this series. The Astros will make a decision shortly as to whether Garcia stays on the roster or not.
I probably will not be able to watch much of tonight’s game, between working until 6:30 pm, then heading outside to hand out Halloween treats to the kids. It’s quite a thing here, with Mrs. S going full-bore on decor. What’s shown top is probably less than 10% (I’ll see if I can post some more pics in the thread, to get the whole spectacle). But I will certainly be following along on my mobile device, in between traumatizing small children. It can’t go any worse than the last Halloween baseball game for the D-backs. That would, of course, be Game 4 in 2001, won by the Yankees on Derek Jeter’s home-run, after Byung-Hyun Kim suffered his first blown save. Tonight can’t compete! Besides, we already did that... :)