Paul Goldschmidt sat yesterday and now we’re seeing Jake Lamb sit today. Even with flame-throwing RHP Stephen Strasburg on the hill for the Nationals, it’s hard to understand how, in a series like this against one of the top teams in the National League, Torey Lovullo has chosen this as the time to go back-to-back days sitting Goldy and now Lamb. I get the idea of trying to find the right match-ups, but these guys are the heart of this team and when you’re in a playoff race, battling some adversity already with the injury of J.D. Martinez, you want your star players on the field.
Of course, Paul Goldschmidt did get into the game yesterday, hitting a sacrifice fly to score a run. And perhaps Lamb will get in the game today and get the game-winning hit. Who knows, right?
With a win today, the Diamondbacks can earn a series win, having already beaten seemingly unbeatable Max Scherzer, while dropping yesterday’s game by one run. Beating both Scherzer and Strasburg sure would be a nice confidence boost to the D-backs at what feels like a critical point in the season. Particularly given that their upcoming schedule is the toughest in the National League.
Daniel Descalso finds himself batting lead-off for the D-backs for the ninth time this season. In those games he’s hitting .182/.282/.394, his lowest batting average from any position in the order.
Following Descalso in the batting order is Ketel Marte, who’s been stellar defensively but has been struggling to get into an offensive rhythm. Marte has eight hits in 45 plate appearances since being called up from Triple-A Reno, good enough for a .200 batting average. This is only the second time he’s bat second in the order this season, a spot normally reserved for players who can stimulate the offense and get on base. Against Strasburg, that may be asking a lot of the young Marte.
Robbie Ray is on the hill for the D-backs and he’s going to need to bring his A-game if the D-backs are going to be in position to win. He was exceptional in his last outing against the Reds, when he gave up two runs on four hits to get his ninth win on the season.
Here’s the rest of the Diamondbacks starting lineup for today’s game against the Nationals: