The Washington Nationals return home to face the high-flying Arizona Diamondbacks. Listen to our latest DoDCast for a preview.
With the Washington Nationals hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks this weekend, another tasty episode of the DoDCast was produced.
Joining guest host Ron Juckett to talk about the Nats and D’backs is a former District on Deck contributor, and New Jersey’s biggest Arizona fan, Chris Lacey.
Subjects included on the show are a review of Washington’s recent 4-6 road trip. How the Nats need to get healthy fast and find balance in their bullpen. And, a listener question on whether Michael Taylor’s success lessens the need to re-sign Bryce Harper.
However, most of the show talked about Arizona’s strong start in the National League West. Despite a sluggish offense and slow starts by Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke, the Diamondbacks feature a tremendous bullpen and rotation and hold a four-game bulge over the Colorado Rockies.
As the Los Angeles Dodgers struggle, much like Washington, the D’backs have made the most of their opportunity.
Lacey gushes over the contributions of outfielders David Peralta and a healthy A. J. Pollock. He goes into detail on what manager Torey Lovullo means to Arizona and the strong job Mike Hazen does as the general manager.
The three-game series itself is tight. Washington plays the favorite role in the opener as Stephen Strasburg goes toe-to-toe with Zack Godley. Strasburg comes of a Houdini-like performance last Saturday in Los Angeles.
This Saturday, Jeremy Hellickson faces the current ace of Arizona’s staff in Patrick Corbin. As Corbin looks for his fifth win in six starts, he is stingy on the mound. Over 33.1 innings, he allows a whopping 4.3 H/9 ratio with a 0.660 WHIP. That 13.0 K/9 rate helps.
Hellickson is close to dull strength after signing near the end of spring training. Washington hopes to get 95 pitches from him.
Sunday afternoon, Gio Gonzalez pitches against Ray. Ray has 43 strikeouts in 26.1 innings or a gigantic 14.7 K/9 ratio. Those are closer numbers.
Plus, this is Paul Goldschmidt’s only appearance in Washington during the regular season. While he will be here for the All-Star Game, he is worth the price of admission any time.
As the rested Mr. Finney would say:
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