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Preview, #1: 3/28 @ Dodgers

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Let the games commence!

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Adam Jones - RF Joc Pederson - LF
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Corey Seager - SS
Wilmer Flores - 2B Justin Turner - 3B
David Peralta - LF Max Muncy - 1B
Christian Walker - 1B A.J. Pollock - CF
Ketel Marte - CF Cody Bellinger - RF
Nick Ahmed - SS Enrique Hernandez - 2B
John Ryan Murphy - C Austin Barnes - C
Zack Greinke - RHP Hyun-Jin Ryu - LHP

This will be the fourth time Arizona has begun the season by playing Los Angeles. The last time was in 2014, when the D-backs lost 3-1 at Chase Field. Wade Miley was our Opening Day starter that season which... tells you something, I guess. None of the players who appeared for Arizona that day are still with the club: Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock and Chris Owings all started the game, but left the team this winter. The Dodgers have a couple of survivors: Justin Turner and Clayton Kershaw (though the latter is starting his DL service time early this year), as well as Kenley Jansen. But here’s an omen for you. The last time was opened a season at Dodger Stadium? 2001. That year ended well enough, as I recall...

That was also the only time in the four Opening Day contests against the Dodgers where the D-backs came out on top. They beat Los Angeles 3-2, a two-run shot from Luis Gonzalez - the first of quite a few that year - proving decisive. Randy Johnson allowed two runs over seven innings for the win, and the save went to... Matt Mantei? Wait, what? Wasn’t Byung-Hyun Kim our closer? Well, he became that, eventually - but he pitched the eighth inning in this game, with Mantei working around a two-out single for the save. Kim didn’t get his first save until May 15, after Mantei went down, eventually needing Tommy John. Might we see our original closer be replaced by an Asian again this season? We’ll see...

The line-up looks pretty much as expected after the loss of Steven Souza, with Adam Jones replacing him in right. Ketel Marte make his Opening Day starting debut as a center-fielder - and it’ll be weird to see A.J. Pollock occupying the same spot for the Dodgers, after many seasons as a Diamondbacks. About the only wrinkle is that Christian Walker gets the start at first-base over Jake Lamb. With a left-hander on the mound for Los Angeles, this makes sense: it’ll be interesting to see how much of a strict platoon Torey Lovullo uses at first-base. I am a little surprised to see Wilmer Flores batting in Goldy’s spot: again, we’ll see how regular an occurence that ends up being.

Random stuff about Opening Day for the D-backs

  • Overall record: 12-9
  • Most runs scored: nine (2009)
  • Fewest runs scored: zero (2003)
  • Most runs conceded: sixteen, ouch (2005)
  • Fewest runs conceded: zero (2002)
  • Biggest win: 8-2 (2018), last season was the first victory by more than four runs
  • Biggest loss: 6-16 (2005), our introduction to the Javier Vazquez experience...
  • Best starting pitching: Randy Johnson, 2002 - CG six-hitter, 82 Game Score
  • Best hitting performance: Bernard Gilkey, 1999 - 3-for-5, two R, two HR, two RBI

Be nice to get a new entry or two, on the positive side of the list, this afternoon!