|Jazz Chisholm - CF||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Jorge Soler - DH||Emmanuel Rivera - DH|
|Luis Arraez - 2B||Lourdes Gurriel - LF|
|Bryan De La Cruz - LF||Christian Walker - 1B|
|Jesus Sanchez - RF||Evan Longoria - 3B|
|Yuli Gurriel - 1B||Corbin Carroll - CF|
|Joey Wendle - SS||Nick Ahmed - SS|
|Nick Fortes - C||Gabriel Moreno - C|
|Jon Berti - 3B||Dominic Fletcher - RF|
|Jesus Luzardo - LHP||Brandon Pfaadt - RHP|
The much-anticipated arrival of Brandon Pfaadt last week, turned into the dampest of damp squibs. He became the first Arizona debutant since 2004 to allow seven earned runs - any time a prospect is mentioned in the same breath as “Casey Daigle”, it’s never a good thing. The main problem was the four home-runs he allowed in his 4.2 innings of work, responsible for five of those seven runs. But Pfaadt gave up nine hits in total, and it took an offensive surge to bail him out from his -59.4% Win Probability, the worst in a debut by any Arizona starter [the all-time mark goes to Vincente Padilla’s -89.3% in relief, back in 1999, when he was inexplicably dropped into a save situation for his first appearance].
This should be a considerably easier line-up for Pfaadt to face. The Rangers currently rank 2nd in the majors, with an OPS+ for the season of 118. The Marlins are in 26th place, with an 85 OPS+, so are nowhere near the same caliber of hitters. Of course, they are still major-league players, and mistakes are likely to be hit hard and go a long way. However. if Pfaadt can trust his stuff, which served him so well in the minor leagues, and avoid leaving pitches over the fat part of the plate, then I think he’ll do much better tonight. There’ll be a home crowd as well, though I’m not sure how many of them. I suspect more attention across the valley will be on the Suns and their pivotal Game 5 in Denver.
Last’s attendance was only a double-decker bus above the nine thousand mark, but that is sadly par for the course. The Marlins can’t draw the curtain in Arizona. Last year, we played them on almost the same point of the schedule, from a Monday through Wednesday and the total over the three games of the series was a mere 29,484. That included a season-low 8,855 for the Tuesday night game, the lowest outside of COVID-impacted games. And the smallest crowd in the 2021 season at Chase was also against the Marlins: a FOUR-game weekday series, once more in May, totaled 23,548. So it would not surprise me at all if tonight is the least-attended game in Arizona this year.