|Jarrod Dyson - CF||Cavan Biggio - 2B|
|Tim Locastro - RF||Vladimir Guerrero Jr. - 3B|
|Ketel Marte - 2B||Justin Smoak - DH|
|David Peralta - LF||Randal Grichuk - RF|
|Christian Walker - DH||Lourdes Gurriel - LF|
|Ildemaro Vargas - 3B||Rowdy Tellez - 1B|
|Nick Ahmed - SS||Teoscar Hernandez - CF|
|Alex Avila - C||Brandon Drury - SS|
|Kevin Cron - 1B||Luke Maile - C|
Kevin Cron and Christian Walker swap places; Walker taking over at DH, and Cron starting at 1B, as the D-backs seek to get back above .500. Since dropping down to an even record on May 29, they’ve made two attempts to summit Mt. 500, but have been turned away on both occasions. They were walked off 11-10 against the Rockies in 10 innings at Coors Field, and then dropped the opener back at Chase against the Dodgers, by a score of 3-1. But I’m feeling kinda optimistic here, with Zack Greinke only having lost one game in a dozen starts since that Opening Day disaster, which left him with an ERA of 17.18. His last start was a little worrying, coming out after four innings due to a neck issue; hope it was just a glitch.
Greinke’s control is quickly becoming the stuff of legend. He has now gone 22 consecutive starts without allowing more than two walks, which is seventh on the franchise all-time list. And most of those above him didn’t strike out as many people: over that time, Zack has a K:BB of 122:26. If he walks fewer than three today, he’ll join two impressive 23-game streaks. First was Brian Anderson over basically a year in 1998-99. He pitched 147.1 innings, and in that time, walked only 12 batters. The other belongs to Curt Schilling, who was pretty much the Greek God of Non-Walks. Over his 170.1 innings in 2001-02, he had a K:BB ratio of - get this - 213:16. That’s more than thirteen strikeouts for every walk.
Anderson is also the franchise record-holder, also in 2001-02, when he went 28 regular-season games in a row, with < 3 bases on balls. However, it’s probably fair to say he wasn’t actually that good a pitcher, going 5-12 with a 5.33 ERA over that time - mostly because he allowed considerably more home-runs (31) than walks (22). Josh Collmenter has come closest to matching that since, going 27 starts in a row in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. We’ll see how far Greinke can keep this going. I’ve probably jinxed him by posting this, so if that turns out to be the case: sorry!