Rox Face Great Young Pitcher – Through Their Own Who is Neither
In the midst of family life I like I am betting a lot of people caught the tail end of Monday night’s battle with Arizona. In the Spring Arizona was compared to the Rox in terms of expectations (only for losing this year), needing to develop great young pitching (the DBacks are ahead on that count), and needing their best player to be an MVP to even be competitive (Goldy v Tulo). Four games ago both teams were 8-7. The DBacks however are doing what the Rox did vs. the Padres, start losing games they could win at home.
It is interesting to note that the DBacks have only a 4 game losing streak. The reason it is not 5, and the reason they doubt very often it will ever get to 5 the next few years if Archie Bradley becomes what they think he will. Bradley, a very protected special arm for the DBacks, has been excellent this year, thanks to a low-to-mid 90s 4 seamer that a lot of folks beat into the ground, and one of the best curves I have seen in a while. A real 12-6. He is just 22, so this young arm could be at the top of the DBacks rotation for a long time to come. A lot like Clayton Kershaw when he was young, the only big issue for Bradely so far is walked. Through 18 innings he has 11 of them, matched up against 12Ks. He goes 6 IP each night (again, thinking of his as a long-term asset), and in the 3 game he went, he allowed 1,4, and 2 hits. That folks is a very special start to his permanent Major League career, and a big challenge for the Rox on Tuesday night. On the plus side, just like we have seen with Butler and Matzek, all those walks means that his Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) ERA 3.72. So, if they can avoid rolling over to 2nd and starting a double-play (you know who you are), they might be able to score some runs. Surely they got a look at him in Spring Training, but the value of those ABs is very low. Will be interested to see if they can crack his shell.
Opposing him is Kyle Kendrick, about whom none of the above can be said. When he has been good he has been 3rd starter good. When he has been bad he has been a real bullpen destroyed (hey, great nicknamed, Kyle “the Bullpen Destroyer” Kendrick). Prone to the homer this could be a very difficult game as the BOB is very homer prone. Even when roof is closed. Kendrick will have to be precise. The good news is the DBacks don’t have a group of killer lefties. The bad news, when Kendrick has been bad righties have hit him just as hard.
The Rox offense has not had a real break-out game other than opening day. This doesn’t look like the first one, but then again, who thought teams would put up big numbers against Kershaw and Baumgarner in individual starts this year. That is why we play this wonderful game, because every pitch, if excellent or poor, can be a game changer. And everyone makes mistakes.
The bullpen had an off-day on Sunday, but after burning up Brown and Axford as well as probably Betencourt, if the game is close, who will close? Could Tuesday be our first Rendon sighting? The tension and intrigue in an ordinary Tuesday night game between two teams not well thought of playing baseball in one of those states MLB doesn’t know exists. I love baseball, where each game has its own drama, even a game in April
CF Charlie Blackmon CF Pollack
LF Corey Dickerson SS Owings
SS Tulowitzki 1B Goldschmidt
1B Morneau RF Trumbo
3B Arenado LF Peralta
RF Gonzalez 3B Thomas
C Hundley 2B Hill
2B LeMahieu C Gosewisch
P Kendrick P Bradley