Spin the Wheel O’ Number 5 Starters once more!
|Connor Joe – 1B||Josh Rojas – 3B|
|Kris Bryant – LF||Alek Thomas – CF|
|Charlie Blackmon – DH||Ketel Marte – DH|
|Brendan Rodgers – 2B||Christian Walker – 1B|
|Randal Grichuk – RF||David Peralta – LF|
|Ryan McMahon – 3B||Daulton Varsho – RF|
|Yonathan Daza – CF||Sergio Alcantara – 2B|
|Brian Serven – C||Geraldo Perdomo – SS|
|Garrett Hampson – SS||Jose Herrera – C|
|German Marquez – RHP||Tyler Gilbert – LHP|
Tyler Gilbert gets another shot, his previous outing having been a relatively terse, if effective one. He allowed one run over 3.1 innings on four hits and a walk with two strikeouts, being pulled after 56 pitches. It wasn’t as if Gilbert wasn’t stretched out: his previous outing, five days previously in Reno, he had thrown 87 pitches. It was likely down to the game situation, Tyler having led off the fourth by allowing three consecutive singles to load the bases. Oddly, Torey Lovullo left him in there for two more batters, and Gilbert did get a strikeout and a sacrifice fly. It’ll be interesting to see if the manager has a similarly quick hook, or if he has more confidence in Gilbert.
The bullpen should be relatively well rested, after Madison Bumgarner’s seven innings yesterday. Though I was a bit surprised to see Caleb Smith used for the ninth yesterday with a seven-run lead. He has been the designated long guy this year for the Diamondbacks, with 13 outings of more than an inning (next most is Noe Ramirez on 8; he also pitched yesterday, and having thrown 27 pitches, is likely unavailable), If Gilbert gets pulled again, Smith would have been the obvious main to use for multiple innings. Instead, he threw 20 pitches of mop-up work: he has only worked on back-to-back days once since May 23. Let’s hope it’s a moot question, and Tyler sticks around long enough to qualify for his first win of 2022.
A good sign for the D-backs lately has been the return to form of Carson Kelly. While he is on the bench this afternoon, over 18 games since coming back to the roster on June 11, he has a .723 OPS: that’s a massive improvement on the 20 games before then, when his OPS was a feeble .273. [Yes, that was his OPS, not his average or even on-base percentage!] Kelly has been even better of late, with hits in eight of his last nine games, and a slash of .333/.364/.733 for a 1.097 OPS during that time. Small sample size, to be sure, but whether the team opts to keep or trade Kelly – the latter a suggestion which has been floated around here of late – having him productive is definitely a good thing.