The last time the Giants began a series against the Diamondbacks was eight days ago. At that point, Arizona was 7-2. They’re now 11-4. The Giants were 4-4. They’re now 6-9. Last season, the Giants won only 7 of the 19 meetings in this matchup. Ever since Arizona power washed the gamer stink out of the clubhouse, the Giants have had a tough time against them. But Johnny Cueto returns tonight, and he’s done remarkably well against the Diamondbacks.
Still, Paul Goldschmidt seems like he’ll be enough to counterpunch the Giants’ Cueto salvo, if not on paper, then psychologically. At this point, it’s fair to say the Giants are expecting him to beat them. So then it’s just a matter of handling A.J. Pollock and David Peralta. Not easy at all. The Diamondbacks’ lineup has proven itself to be a litany of tough outs, even without Jake Lamb, who’s still on the disabled list.
Arizona’s rotation seems like it’s building a head of steam for itself. Corbin and Godley have shown top starter potential and Zack Greinke seems to be settling in after a rough start. While Robbie Ray’s peripherals look bad, he’s still a left-handed pitcher, which means he will be able to hold the Giants to 1 run and strike out 12 while only walking 1.
There’s enough riding on this series for both teams to make it really interesting. Arizona is trying to build on its fast start and get some more separation from the division; the Giants will be fighting for baseball relevance. A series win seems impossible, but a sweep puts them at 6-12 in April. Given that setup, it makes the most sense to take it one game at a time. Going back to the Giants’ opening salvo... Johnny Cueto has to be both the stopper and the return of hope for the season.
Hitter(s) to watch:
Why, Paul Goldschmidt, of course. Watch him launch balls all over Chase Field. Since the beginning of the Giants’ series last week, he’s 10-for-26 with 6 extra base hits (4 HR, 1 double, 1 triple). He has 2 home runs and 2 doubles in 28 career plate appearances against Johnny Cueto, too. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Pitcher to watch:
I have plodded
that was in
you were probably
for first pitch
it looked walkable
and so round
Donald Zackary Greinke