Start Time: 1:10pm MST
Broadcast Information: TV: Fox Sports Arizona, Radio: 620AM KTAR
Game in a Nutshell:
The Diamondbacks will be looking to sweep the Giants to close out their brief three-game homestand before hitting the road to face the San Diego Padres on Tuesday. They will be looking to win their eighth straight against the Giants and extend their record long-winning streak against the Bay Area denizens as well.
In terms of the pitching matchup, it does seem to favor San Francisco today. Cain is coming off a solid spring and signed a massive deal to stay with the club long-term, so he’s likely to step onto the mound a confident man at Chase Field. Collmenter, meanwhile, has been dealing with whispers over whether Tyler Skaggs or Trevor Bauer should have gotten his rotation spot after a rough spring, so he is going to need to come up with a good outing to quell some of the doubters.
Key Player: Josh Collmenter
Collmenter’s struggles were well documented during the spring, but he was reasonably successful against the Giants after his call-up last year. He went 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA against them, and he won his first career start against them on April 17th.
One area that he is going to have to be careful in is giving up the long ball. The Giants have scored most of their runs in the first two games of this series via the long ball, and Collmenter was a gopher-ball machine during spring training, giving up five of them in only 19 innings of work. His ERA of nearly 10.00 was frightening, so he’s going to have to do some work to show that he belongs in the rotation.
Key to Success:
Besides making sure to stay positive around Collmenter as he makes his first start, the key to success for the Diamondbacks will be to repeat the pattern that they have established over the first two games of the season: get off to a strong start. Nothing will help calm the youngster down more than if the Diamondbacks can get him a few runs of support to start the game with, so it will be up to those big dogs at the top of the lineup like Justin Upton and Miguel Montero to pull their weight.
-Interesting column by Dan Bickley on Chris Young, one of the guys in the four-man rotation taking place in the Diamondbacks’ outfield. He is saying all the right things, but deep down, you know he’s silently hoping that either Jason Kubel or Gerardo Parra starts struggling so that he doesn’t have to come to the ballpark worrying about being removed from the lineup on a given day. [Tucson Citizen]
-D’Backs manager Kirk Gibson is no stranger to donating his awards and memorabilia to charity. The bat he used to hit the game winning home run off Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series was auctioned off for a handsome sum. His MVP award was as well. Now, he’s going to auction off his Manager of the Year Award. He isn’t doing that because he’s hard up for cash, min d you. He’s actually raising money for a scholarship fund. This, honestly, proves once again that Gibson is a class act and a great role model for the young team he is in charge of. [Arizona Republic]
-You may have noticed a new pitch in JJ Putz’s arsenal in the first two games Arizona has played. That’s because he’s been honing a split-fingered fastball during spring training, and he’s already incorporated it into his game with positive results. [DBacks.com]