The Diamondbacks will send out rookie LHP Anthony Banda for his MLB debut tonight against the Washington Nationals at 5:10 pm local time. Banda offers a three-pitch repertoire with a mid-90’s fastball, a plus curveball — his best pitch — and a decent change up.
Paul Goldschmidt has the night off tonight, along with last night’s hero, Brandon Drury. Daniel Descalso will play first base in Goldy’s stead.
Once again, J.D. Martinez is absent from tonight’s lineup. We haven’t heard much more on his hand injury but we do know he had an MRI on it on Thursday, presumably looking for tendon or muscle damage. That measure alone means the soreness must have been severe enough to prompt additional testing, so it’s possible we don’t see him at all this weekend.
Tanner Roark will take the hill tonight for the Nationals. His 4.98 ERA is a bit deceiving, especially when you look at his lower 4.35 FIP. The difference in the two is largely attributable to his .310 batting average on balls in play (BABIP). That’s indicative of a higher number of balls falling in for hits than you’d normally expect to see. Part of that is simply bad luck and timing.
Roark offers a four-pitch repertoire but leans heavily on a nasty slider that he throws in the low-to-mid-90s. He’s been susceptible to giving up early runs this year so look for the D-backs to be agressive early against him. Kinda like last night.
If the D-backs are going to win this one look for Jake Lamb to have another big night tonight. His bat has played a big role the last few wins and, like I mentioned in the series preview, the D-backs need him to have a big series if they want to keep their winning streak going.
Here’s the rest of tonight’s Diamondbacks lineup as they take on the Nationals:
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) July 22, 2017