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Preview, #11: 4/9 vs. Rangers

Zack Greinke, hitting machine.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

RANGERS DIAMONDBACKS
Shin-Soo Choo - LF Adam Jones - RF
Rougned Odor - 2B Ketel Marte - CF
Elvis Andrus - SS Wilmer Flores - 2B
Nomar Mazara - RF David Peralta - LF
Joey Gallo - 1B Christian Walker - 1B
Asdrubal Cabrera - 3B Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Isiah Kiner-Falefa - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Delino DeShields Jr. - CF John Ryan Murphy - C
Mike Minor - LHP Zack Greinke - RHP

Remember in 2011, when the Rangers were one strike away from winning the World Series for the first time ever? How ephemeral success can be. They haven’t won a playoff series since, going 2-7 in the post-season, and last season, finished 36 games back in the division, managing only 67 wins. But, much like Arizona, their season has started off better than expected, splitting their first 10 games. And much like the D-backs, they had a bad weekend on the road in Los Angeles, dropping three out of four to the home team. Only it was the Angels, and Texas’s problem was an offense which mustered a total of only four runs across the trio of defeats.

That has been the story of the season so far: as their hitters go, so do the Rangers. Texas are 4-0 when scoring more than four runs, and 0-4 when scoring fewer than four. In contrast, the D-backs have already delivered three helpings of loss-flavored tacos (* with the purchase of a large drink, between 4-6 pm the foll... etc.) to their fans. Kinda impressive for Arizona to get so many in the first ten games, in a sad way, considering we had only nine losses while scoring 5+ runs all of last season. [We had 23 such games in 2004. It clearly wasn’t scoring runs which was the problem that year...]

We’ll see if Greinke can do a better job of keeping the ball in the park at home, having allowed four home-ruins in his first start against the Dodgers, and another two facing the Padres in San Diego. The second outing was definitely better by Zack, with a K:BB ratio of 10:0. and a quality start, albeit of the bare minimum on both ends. And, of course, he also HIT a pair of home-runs in Petco. Fun fact: Greinke has hit more home-runs in Petco than Jon Jay (77 games), Russell Martin (44 games) and Chris Owings (37 games) COMBINED. But his only home-run at Chase came all the way back, even before he was a Dodger, when with Kansas City in 2005 (below). And it came off Russ Ortiz, so is only worth about 0.3 homers...