|Mookie Betts - 2B||Josh Rojas - 3B|
|Freddie Freeman - 1B||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Will Smith - C||Lourdes Gurriel - DH|
|Max Muncy - 3B||Christian Walker - 1B|
|J.D. Martinez - DH||Corbin Carroll - LF|
|David Peralta - LF||Jake McCarthy - RF|
|James Outman - CF||Gabriel Moreno - C|
|Chris Taylor - SS||Alek Thomas - CF|
|Jason Heyward - RF||Geraldo Perdomo - SS|
|Dustin May - RHP||Merrill Kelly - RHP|
By the time Sunday evening comes around, we’ll have faced Los Angeles eight times in the first ten games. On the plus side, with the new balanced scheduled we’ll only see them five more times the rest of the way, all those games coming in August. If the D-backs can just split these four contests, like they did those played in Los Angeles, all the way back in... last weekend, they’ll be GUARANTEED their best winning percentage against the Dodgers since 2019. Even if they were to lose all five August games, they’d be 4-9, which is better than the 5-14, 3-16 and 2-8 Arizona have managed against Los Angeles the past three seasons. To say they’ve had our number, doesn’t do it justice.
Even that split in Los Angeles was, as has been dead-horse’d round these parts, not one you would notice if you looked at the run differential, the Dodgers out-scoring the D-backs by a 20-7 margin. The good news is, this is a rematch of one of the games we won, and it looks like the D-backs are also going to miss Urias this time round [The Dodgers are going to miss Zac Gallen too, but I think that’s less of a problem, based on results so far!] Last time, Merrill Kelly had a scoreless outing. That’s good. Not so good: it only lasted 3.2 innings, and he walked four batters over that span. That none of the seven baserunners he allowed came round to score was fortunate, the Dodgers being 0-for-7 with RISP that day.
And raise your hand if you expected Jose Herrera to have a better OPS+ than Gabriel Moreno after the first week of games. That’s where we sit coming into this one. In fact, Herrera’s OPS+ of 85 is exactly the same at that of Corbin Carroll. Moreno has certainly struggled out of the gate (OPS+ 0) and Lourdes Gurriel (12) hasn’t been much better. I’m surprised we haven’t seen a stream of people breathlessly rushing in to update us on Daulton Varsho’s every hit, since he has a 160 OPS+ through six games for Toronto. He does have a .438 BABIP, compared to .182 for Moreno. These things will even themselves out over time, I would expect.
Through six games, the team have three different players with saves - that’s a first in franchise history. The last time the D-backs had more than one “closer” to this point was 2019, when Greg Holland had a pair, and Jon Duplantier (remember him?) had the other. But we’re not the only team in this situation. The Cleveland Guardians have also had saves,from three different pitchers so far: expected closer Emmanuel Clase, plus Eli Morgan and Trevor Stephan. The latter two both got their shot in extra innings though. That’s something Arizona has yet to experience, but Cleveland has already seen three times, winning all three of them. The other 29 teams have one extra-inning victory between them!