Didn't have enough time for a full preview, so here's just a few quick words on the DBacks offense and the pitching matchups.
Aaron Hill, Paul Goldschmidt, and Jason Kubel have led the DBacks offense this year. Notably missing from that list is Justin Upton,who has been scuffling and only has a .311 wOBA. The DBacks have been known for defying their peripherals over the past few years, and this year is no exception. The DBacks offense is third in the NL, they've had the second best pitching, and the third best defense. And somehow they're a game below .500. Go figure.
Friday: Jeff Samardzija, RHP (4.04, 3.21, 3.39, 3.90) vs Joe Saunders, LOL (3.44, 4.00, 3.46, 4.60) 8:40 PM CT
Saunders continues his tradition of carrying a decent looking ERA with cruddy peripherals. In many ways he's a perfect fit for this team, which has shown a penchant for outperforming its numbers.
Samardzija learned from his start against the Twins and remembered that his stuff works best when he tries to make hitters *not* hit the ball. So let's do that again, please.
Saturday: Paul Maholm, LHP (4.88, 4.66, 4.28, 4.14) vs Ian Kennedy, RHP (4.13, 3.68, 3.90, 3.71), 8:10 PM CT
You pretty much know what to expect from a Maholm start at this point. He's remarkably consistent, generally hovering around 6IP, 5 K, 3 R, double digit grounders in all of his starts. He's a solid piece to have on the back end of a contending team, but we haven't heard a peep of any trade interest on him.
Kennedy's stellar 2011 came out of nowhere, but things have regressed for him this year. He's merely a good pitcher, instead of an incredible one.
Sunday: Matt Garza, RHP (4.07, 4.05, 3.50, 3.69) vs Wade Miley, RHP (2.30, 2.83, 3.73, 4.19), 2:10 PM CT
I have no idea who this Miley guy is. Must be my third coast bias. He's started eleven games and has been stellar, mostly due to a walk rate anomaly (1.86 BB/9) and 3.8% HR/FB. He's projected to be a decent pitcher.
Garza gave up a few more HRs to the White Sox, but wanted the win enough to see the Cubs prevail. The big worry when the Cubs picked up Garza was his HR rate, and while his sudden Transformation into a ground ball pitcher has helped to reduce that he was bound for some regression on last year. He probably just wishes it didn't swing even further the other way (laughing).