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Series Preview: Marlins Visit Arizona

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The Miami Marlins head to the desert for a three-game showdown with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Chicago Cubs Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Starting on Friday, the Marlins will visit the Arizona Diamondbacks for a three-game series at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. These three games will represent the final time this season that the two teams will meet. Miami leads the season series, three-games-to-none after a sweep in early May.

In Miami's last series, three games against the Minnesota Twins, The Marlins suffered late-inning meltdowns in the first two matchups before rebounding with a victory last night.

Arizona is coming off an interleague series of their own, three road games against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays took two-of-three, with Arizona taking the middle game on a complete-game, three-hit Zach Grienke shutout, 5-0.

Probable Starting Pitchers

Friday, first pitch 9:40PM

Justin Nicolino, 2-3, 4.37 ERA vs. Patrick Corbin, 3-5, 4.73 ERA

Saturday, first pitch 10:10PM

Jose Fernandez, 9-2, 2.29 ERA vs. TBA

Sunday, first pitch 4:10PM

Adam Conley, 3-3, 3.76 ERA vs. Robbie Ray, 2-5, 5.14 ERA

All-Time Head-to-Head: Miami owns a 58-74 all-time record against the Diamondbacks, their .439 winning percentage is their fifth worst against National League teams.

On This Date

Miami is 14-8 all-time on June 10th, including a 15-8 drubbing of the Kansas City Royals in 2002.

Marlins Best and Worst on June 10th

The Florida Marlins were 36-26 on this day in 1997. Of course, that team was bound to be the first ever World Series Championship team from Florida.

The Miami Marlins boasted an 18-45 record on this date in 2013.

Standings

Marlins: 31-29, .517, third in the NL East, 5.5 games behind the Washington Nationals, eighth in the NL, 14th in the Majors. Last Five: L-W-L-L-W. Playoff Odds: 17.1%

Diamondbacks: 26-36, .419, fourth in the NL West, 10.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants. 12th in the NL, 26th in the Majors. Last Five: W-L-W-L-L. Playoff Odds: 0.8%

Injuries

Marlins

4/3/16 Carter Capps P Right elbow surgery - out for season 60-Day DL

5/9/16 Nefi Ogando P Fractured rib 15-Day DL

5/25/16 Bryan Morris P Herniated lumbar disc 15-Day DL

Diamondbacks

4/2/16 A.J. Pollock CF Fractured right elbow 60-Day DL

5/25/16 Shelby Miller P Right index finger injury 15-Day DL

5/26/16 Rubby De La Rosa P Right elbow inflammation 15-Day DL

Common Thread

Martin Prado played in 261 games with the 2013 and 2014 Diamondbacks, hitting ..278/.326/.398/.725 19 home runs and 124 RBI.

Corner infielder Chris Johnson played 44 games with the 2012 Arizona club, and hit .286/.321/.503/.824 with seven round-trippers and 35 RBI.

Cole Gillespie played in 50 games for the 2010 and 2011 Diamondbacks, and collected a .236/.292/.391/.683 with three homers and 16 RBI.

Craig Breslow pitched in 40 games for the 2012 Diamondbacks, and went 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA, striking out 42 in 43.1 innings.

Edwin Jackson pitched to a 6-10 record in 2010 for Arizona, with a 5.16 ERA in 21 starts.

Milestones

Adeiny Hechavarria will tie Mike Redmond in 19th all-time with his 485th game on Sunday. His next hit will move him into a tie with Edgar Renteria in 18th with 450. His next triple will move him past Hanley Ramirez into third all-time with 27.

Christian Yelich will tie Mark Kotsay in 17th all-time with four runs scored, at 221. His next double will move him into a tie for 18th with Jeremy Hermida at 89.

Giancarlo Stanton needs four runs to tie Derrek Lee in seventh with 422. He needs three doubles to tie Lee in eighth with 159.

Jose Fernandez’ next win will tie him with Chris Volstad in 12th all-time, with 32.

AJ Ramos is currently tied with Renyal Pinto in seventh all-time with 244 pitching appearances. He’ll pass Bryan Harvey with his next save. They’re currently tied in sixth with 51.

Questions and Answers

I asked Curtis Massie of AZ Snake Pit some questions in preparation for the weekend series. Read on for his answers.

Kevin Kraczkowski (Fish Stripes): Jean Segura has always given Miami problems (he’s .340 against the Marlins in 20 games with the Milwaukee Brewers (and three against Arizona)). How has he been for your since joining the Diamondbacks?

Curtis Massie (AZ Snake Pit): In 2015, the Diamondbacks’ WAR at second base was a negative 2.3. Diamondbacks badly needed to fill that hole, and took a chance on Jean Segura. He was a huge success! Last I checked, the WAR at second was a positive 0.4! His BA, OBP, and SLG are all as good as 2013, his all-star year. He plays with joy and renewed confidence.

KK: Zach Greinke was 19-3 last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, with NL leading figures of 0.844 WHIP and 1.66 ERA. He’s pretty good for you guys, but clearly, you’re not getting the pitcher that you paid for. Any idea why?

CM: Some think Greinke has aged poorly. My different opinion follows:

The biggest problem is Chase Field. This season his ERA at Chase is twice as high as away games. (31 ER in 58.2 innings at Chase compared to 6 ER in 28 innings away). The difference would have been greater if I had not included the home game shutout on 7 June.

What is amazing about Chase is that the wind directions change during the game due to panels & roof starting closed and then being opened. The obvious impact is change to how a hit ball travels. The less obvious impact is to Greinke’s pitches – which often have a late break in them. That break can be impacted both by the breezes and by the abrupt temperature changes.

Another problem was injuries to Pollock and Peralta. In many games, infielders played in the outfield, and even the backup catcher played in the outfield. These newly minted outfielders, while usually avoiding outright errors, often made Greinke look worse than he deserved.

Another problem was pitch framing. The Diamondbacks catchers are well below average in pitch framing. They are getting better.

Greinke pitched a complete game shutout on June seventh at Chase. His last 16 innings have been scoreless. Optimistically I assume he is learning how to adjust to the constantly changing environment in Chase Field.

KK: The Diamondbacks rank near the bottom of the NL with a 1.446 WHIP. What kind of help is on the way from double- and triple-A in terms of fresh arms?

CM: There are many talented prospects. I will briefly talk about 2 arms that have seen limited time in the Majors, and 3 fresh arms.

Archie Bradley. Bradley is a fan favorite player. Prior to his latest promotion due to De La Rosa and Miller being on the DL, he had an ERA of 6.26 in ten starts in the Majors. This time, he has pitched 13.1 innings in 2 games, allowed 4 ER, with 19 strikeouts and 4 walks. Pitching like that could easily earn him a rotation spot on the Diamondbacks!

Zack Godley. How can I be objective when I have a signed rookie baseball card for Zack Godley? In 2015, he was impressive. He started 6 games and was a reliever in 3 games. His record was 5 wins and 1 loss. I was disappointed when he did not make the team this season. He has shown he can perform at in the Majors, and it is just a matter of when he returns.

Braden Shipley. He is ranked the top Diamondbacks prospect in the minors. He has pitched very well at the AAA level. He is ready for the Majors this season.

Anthony Banda. He will pitch in the Southern League (AA) All-Star game on 21 June. Last year, he was named an Under-The-Radar All-Star. He is a highly rated prospect and pitches left-handed. He will be ready for the Majors in one or two seasons.

Yoan Lopez. Last year he had trouble adjusting to AA baseball. This year, he is starting to show his talent. He will be ready for the Majors in two seasons.

KK: Who’s the Arizona player that’s going to hurt the Marlins this weekend that we won’t see coming?

CM: Jake Lamb and Yasmany Tomas, while hitting with Ahmed at the bottom of the lineup, are turning into hot hitters who can unexpectedly score runs. Lamb hit a 3-run homerun on 7 June! If I can only pick one player, it would be Lamb.

Chris Herrmann, backup catcher, has the highest RBIs per RISP opportunity on the team. That much talent on the bench can catch any team by surprise.

Many Diamondbacks are young, and they are constantly adjusting and improving. Every player has the potential to breakout with impact.

We’d like to thank Curtis and all the folks over at AZ Snake Pit for their insight into what makes the Diamondbacks tick. Check out my answers to his questions here.

Join us in the live GameThread for all three matchups, check out my Heroes and Zeroes coverage, and play along with Ichthyomancy, officially rebooting after Saturday nights game.