|Jarrod Dyson - CF||A.J. Pollock - CF|
|Ketel Marte - SS||Justin Turner - 3B|
|Eduardo Escobar - 3B||Kris Negron - LF|
|David Peralta - LF||Cody Bellinger - RF|
|Adam Jones - RF||Max Muncy - 2B|
|Jake Lamb - 1B||Tyler White - 1B|
|Wilmer Flores - 2B||Corey Seager - SS|
|Alex Avila - C||Russell Martin - C|
|Alex Young - LHP||Kenta Maeda - RHP|
Oh, look. A.J. Pollock is in the Dodgers’ starting line-up today, despite allegedly being hit on the wrist by Archie Bradley’s 96-mph fastball. A blow which made a loud, wooden sound and sent the ball popping up a considerable distance in the air, apparently causing Pollock little or no pain. For comparison, I give you Pollock actually being hit in the hand by a 92 mph pitch from Johnnie Cueto. Contrast. I know A.J. now wears protection. But the blow last night was allegedly enough to cause an immediate bruise. I’d think it merited more reaction. I also note Pollock didn’t start walking towards first, but across the batter’s box, like it was a foul. I simply think he didn’t realize it had gone straight up.
And from there went on a whole bunch of stuff, mostly needless on both sides and rather silly. But it certainly sets the table for an interesting game tonight at Dodger Stadium, though I suspect absolutely nothing of significance will happen. And I’m fine with that. Part of me does want the D-backs to have the lead in the ninth and turn to Bradley again, purely for purposes of drama - especially on his birthday. However, I think I’d rather we just win convincingly enough, that it’s a non-issue. A low-key victory to take the series, and go for the sweep tomorrow? Yeah, sounds about right. Especially since I’m not having to recap this one. :) Actually, I’ll be at a family get-together so probably won’t even be seeing much of it.
It’s definitely the most favorable match-up of this series for Arizona, even though they’re starting rookie Alex Young, who has only six career major-league starts to his name. Kenta Maeda has been horrible of late: his last four starts have lasted a total of just 13 innings, with 13 earned runs allowed across them. He hasn’t won a game since May, a spell covering 11 starts and one relief appearance, over which time Maeda has a 5.26 ERA. The weird thing is, he has held batters to a .207 average in that time, and a decent OPS of .679. Still, they’ve clearly been able to cross home-plate anyway. Here’s to that continuing tonight, and Arizona at least keeping up in the wild-card race.