Diamondbacks-Nationals Preview: Visiting Matt Williams


Vidal Nuno, still looking for D’back win #1. Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Diamondbacks continue their road trip by heading north from South Florida to the Nation’s Capital for a four game series against the Washington Nationals. The Nats, at 69-53, are riding a six game winning streak and have opened up a six game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.  The D’backs will be visiting with Matt Williams, the long-time Snakes’ star and coach for the first time since he was named the Washington manager. These two squads met at Chase Field May 12th-May 14th, with the Nationals taking two out of three. At 53-71, Arizona wraps up this long, ten game road trip with thoughts no doubt longing for the desert.

In what seems to be a once every five days statement, Vidal Nuno looks for his first D’backs’ victory in the opening contest. He has pitched well enough at times to merit at least one or two victories.  He will be opposed by Jordan Zimmerman who is 8-6 but with a very good ERA of 2.92. Chase Anderson gets the ball on Tuesday and will face Stephen Strasburg. Although Anderson is having a solid rookie season at 7-4 with a 3.16 ERA, he needs to start showing he is more than a six inning pitcher. On the other hand, Strasburg has to show he is worth the hype. He is 9-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 2014. On Wednesday, Trevor Cahill looks to continue his string of good outings against another fine pitcher, Tanner Roark.  Cahill has given up four earned runs over his last 13 2/3 innings pitched. Roark is 12-7 with a 2.93 ERA. In the finale, Wade Miley goes for a second consecutive strong outing, facing Gio Gonzalez. Miley earned a tough-luck loss last week, giving up only one earned run in seven innings vs. the Miami Marlins. Gonzalez is 6-9 with a 4.06 ERA.

Since being called up from the Minors, Jake Lamb has been the everyday third baseman. He is off to a slow start batting only .213 with 13 strikeouts in 32 at-bats. Jordan Pacheco gets the start at first base tonight. Three rookies are in the starting lineup, a theme that will probably carry over the rest of the season: Lamb, Ender Inciarte in center field and David Peralta in right.