|A.J. Pollock - CF||Charlie Blackmon - CF|
|Eduardo Escobar - 3B||DJ LeMahieu - 2B|
|David Peralta - LF||Nolan Arenado - 3B|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Trevor Story - SS|
|Daniel Descalso - 2B||Matt Holliday - LF|
|Steven Souza - RF||Ian Desmond - 1B|
|Nick Ahmed - SS||David Dahl - RF|
|Alex Avila - C||Drew Butera - C|
|Patrick Corbin - LHP||Jon Gray - RHP|
Though the odds are still against the D-backs, last night’s victory proved that there’s still life in the 2018 season yet. Tonight’s contest will show whether there is at least the spark of a potential recovery, or if that win was merely the twitch of the death nerve and the final wheeze of a death rattle. The Dodgers finally managed to beat the Reds earlier today - it only took them seven attempts this year to do it! So if the D-backs beat the Rockies, their lead over Los Angeles will be cut back to one-half of a game, with the D-backs 11⁄2 behind the Rockies. But if Arizona lose, they’ll be 31⁄2 behind, assured of leaving Denver no closer than they were when they arrived, even with a win tomorrow.
That makes tonight kind of a big deal. Probably a good thing, therefore, that the D-backs sent up Patrick Corbin, who has been the teams best pitcher this season by both bWAR and fWAR. The latter metric has him particularly far ahead of Zack Greinke, by a margin of 6.0 to 3.3. bWAR has the same men #1 and #2, though Corbin’s edge is considerably smaller (4.5 to 3.9), This reflects that, while Corbin and Greinke have similar ERAs (3.01 to 3.11), Corbin is far superior in FIP (2.38 to 3.74). He has faced the Rockies twice this year, going 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA, and a K:BB of 14:5 in ten innings. Jon Gray, meanwhile, took the loss the only time he faced Arizona in 2018, back on Opening Day. How long ago that all seems...
As soon as I saw no Ketel Marte in the line-up, I knew what the reaction on social media would be. Unedited in any way, here are the first four replies to the D-backs line-up announcement:
Apparently two hits yesterday should completely negate the fact that over the season to date, Daniel Descalso’s overall OPS is 71 points better than Marte, and versus right-hand pitchers like Grey, it’s one hundred and sixty-six points better. Twitter, please continue to never disappoint me. Hey, win tonight and I can go back to watching the team again! Though we’ve really made a dent in the Netflix queue since my self-imposed exile began, so not sure if I should cheer for that or not... :)