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Diamondbacks Gameday Thread, #60: 6/4 vs. Braves

Our turn to send up an ace.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Ronald Acuna - RF Pavin Smith - RF
Matt Olson - 1B Ketel Marte - 2B
Austin Riley - 3B Corbin Carroll - LF
Travis d'Arnaud - C Lourdes Gurriel - DH
Eddie Rosario - LF Emmanuel Rivera - 1B
Ozzie Albies - 2B Josh Rojas - 3B
Marcell Ozuna - DH Jake McCarthy - CF
Orlando Arcia - SS Geraldo Perdomo - SS
Michael Harris - CF Jose Herrera - C
Michael Soroka - RHP Zac Gallen - RHP

No great surprise that the series goes to a rubber game. I’d probably have been more surprised if either side had managed to take both of the first two games. So, the winner of this one will take the series, and with it have a shot at the best record in the National League, depending on how the Dodgers and Yankees game plays out. They’re also going to a rubber game, the home team having taken the opener, before the visitors leveled things yesterday. The D-backs did have their opportunities on Saturday, but Spencer Strider made his pitches when they matters, and Arizona went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Do better this afternoon, please.

Zac Gallen will seek to anchor the pitching staff to a series win, and remain unbeaten at Chase. He’s coming off a very solid six shutout innings last start, though that was against the light challenge offered by Colorado. The Braves are a stiffer challenge: we’ve certainly seen why Ronald Acuña Jr. is perhaps the front-runner for the NL MVP award so far. It has taken a while for the 2018 Rookie of the Year to reach the next level. He was an All-Star in both 2021 and 2022, but did not get a mention on any MVP ballots. That looks certain to change this season. He currently leads the league in bWAR, at 3.0. Despite the team’s great start, the highest-ranked D-back is down at #15, Lourdes Gurriell Jr at 2.0 bWAR.

It should be another good game, and could potentially be a preview of a match-up we’ll see in October, if both sides continue to perform as they have. I was also impressed by the crowd at Chase last night. 36,529 were in attendance, which as Jack noted, is the largest home attendance since Opening Day. It was more than six thousand above the previous high, and seven thousand better than came out for the traditionally well-drawing Red Sox the previous Saturday night. It was also more than any TWO games against Atlanta last year, though those were Mon-Wed. Was it the tribal cap which was being given away? Guess we’ll see today. For comparison, the Red Sox had 26,051 at their Sunday game last week.