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Preview, #4: 3/31 @ Dodgers

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Luke Weaver makes his D-backs debut. We’d quite like it to be a good one.

Arizona Diamondbacks Photo Day Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS DODGERS
Wilmer Flores - 2B Joc Pederson - LF
Ildemaro Vargas - 3B Cody Bellinger - 1B
David Peralta - LF A.J. Pollock - CF
Adam Jones - RF Max Muncy - 3B
Jake Lamb - 1B Enrique Hernandez - 2B
Ketel Marte - CF Alex Verdugo - RF
Nick Ahmed - SS Chris Taylor - SS
Carson Kelly - C Russell Martin - C
Luke Weaver - RHP Walker Buehler - RHP

Well, say what you like about the series so far, it has certainly been an interesting one, with every game providing plenty to chew over and talk about. Now, certainly, a lot of it has been awful, to the point of embarrassing - mostly Arizona’s pitching. But from the point of view of a writer, I’ll take a game like last night over a boring 4-1 loss, any day of the week. Recapping a game is far easier when you have a position player throw more pitches than any other has done in 30+ years. If you can’t come up with a thousand words on a contest like that, you’re just not trying. Even though it’s considerably better to be on the winning side, there was still a certain nightmarish quality to it. /r/watchpitchersdie

It was the usage of Matt Koch which perplexed me the most. Was he really the only available man in the bullpen, just two days after throwing 62 pitches? For comparison, there were three times last year we had a reliever go sixty or more pitches.

  • Silvino Bracho, 60 pitches on April 15 - next pitched, April 21
  • T.J. McFarland, 78 pitches on April 29 - next pitched, May 2
  • Jorge De La Rosa, 64 pitches on July 11 - next pitched, July 15

That’s an average of 4.3 days before they were next used, and even the shortest was still 50% longer than Koch got to recover. And you could tell from the results. He became the first Arizona reliever since 2005 to give up 3+ earned runs in each of his first two outings of the season. The last was Greg Aquino - and he had two months between those appearances. [There were two others, both from our debut season: Ricky Pickett and Clint Sodowsky] Now, it’s a bit unfair to blame Koch entirely for last night, but he apparently assured Torey Lovullo he was good to go. It’s Exhibit A in “why players should not always be believed.”

A bit of a different look to the line-up for the D-backs this afternoon. Wilmer Flores leads off, with Caleb Joseph Carson Kelly making his first start for Arizona - that leaves Ildemaro Vargas as the only position player yet to make the starting line-up. I’m excited to see what Weaver can bring. He looked very good in spring training. But then, so did a number of other Arizona pitchers, who turned into propane supplies the minute the regular season started... So, we’ll see. Stephen Case will be bringing you the guest recap on this one, being in attendance at Dodger Stadium.