|Jarrod Dyson - CF||Eric Sogard - 2B|
|Ketel Marte - 2B||Vladimir Guerrero Jr. - 3B|
|Eduardo Escobar - 3B||Rowdy Tellez - DH|
|David Peralta - LF||Randal Grichuk - RF|
|Christian Walker - 1B||Lourdes Gurriel - LF|
|Kevin Cron - DH||Cavan Biggio - 1B|
|Nick Ahmed - SS||Teoscar Hernandez - CF|
|Tim Locastro - RF||Freddy Galvis - SS|
|Carson Kelly - C||Danny Jansen - C|
A very rare trip for the D-backs to Toronto. They’ve played fewer games there than in any other MLB city: just the five in franchise history (the next fewest being the six at whatever the White Sox are calling their park this week). The last time was in June 2016, when Arizona and Toronto split a two-game series: the D-backs won the opener 4-2, but couldn’t complete the sweep, losing the following day by a 5-2 margin. But it’s interesting to see how much has changed for the D-backs, in less than three years. Of the 14 players who took part for Arizona in the first game, only Nick Ahmed is currently on the active 25-man roster. [Jake Lamb is on the DL, and Yasmany Tomas is... well, y’know]
in those two games, our DH was Rickie Weeks, while Tomas started both games in right, with Peter O’Brien in left-field. Yeah. About that. You kinda feel like Chip Hale was trying to get himself fired, or something, with such wilful disregard for... Oh, I dunno THE ENTIRE POINT OF HAVING A DH, for example. This evening, it’ll be Kevin Cron who is taking that role, a choice which actually is about as sensible a decision as possible. That hasn’t always been the case. For among the previous players to have started a game for the Diamondbacks in the designated hitter position are Phil Gosselin, Andy Green, Oscar Hernandez and John Ryan Murphy. Feels like they just pulled names out of a hat.
Merrill Kelly - not listed above! - takes the mound for the D-backs, coming off what was probably his second-best start of the season. He threw 7.2 innings of one-run ball against the Mets on Sunday, and got the W. He’s been good at that lately: not necessarily winning, just getting decisions, with the W or L being hung on Kelly in each of his last nine starts. That’s beginning to get up into impressive territory. Zack Godley had ten consecutive decision last year, and Patrick Corbin 12 in 2017. But for any more than that, you need to go back to 2012, when Wade Miley, of all people, received the decision for twenty starts in a row, going 11-9. That’s accepting responsibility for your actions, right there...