The Arizona Diamondbacks have their backs against the wall and are the Vegas underdog in Sunday's Game 2 of the NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers. Down 0-1 in the five-game series, this game is crucial if the Snakes are going to advance to the next round. Being down and picked to lose is a familiar position for this group and one they've embraced and overcome all season long.
Taking the ball for the Diamondbacks is the bulldog of the pitching staff, Daniel Hudson. When he's on, Hudson's stuff is the best in the rotation and his competitive fire is part of what makes him so effective. But like many young players, the 24-year-old Hudson can let his emotions be his downfall as well.
"I've said it countless times; I'm my own worst enemy on the mound," Hudson said during his media session on Saturday in Milwaukee (full video here).
We often see this early in games before Daniel settles in and gets his adrenaline under control and we see it after something doesn't go his way and he carries one mistake forward into another one. Hudson's ERA in the first innings of games is 6.00 and he's given up more runs in the first three innings (44) than in the rest of the innings combined (42).
How Hudson handles the pressure and emotion of pitching in this situation will likely dictate the results of Game 2 and the series. If he can get through the early innings and find his groove, the D-backs should have a chance to break through against Zack Grienke who is pitching on short rest for the second consecutive start, a decision even ESPN / Fan Graphs stat geek Dave Cameron disagrees with (MLB - Milwaukee Brewers choose Zack Greinke over Shaun Marcum in Game 2 - ESPN).
Game 2 lineups
Lineups for Game 2 haven't been announced but we wouldn't anticipate any changes from the Brewers.
Jerry Hairston came through with an RBI in Game 1 and is a better defensive option at third than Casey McGehee and there's no reason to think that Ron Roenicke would sit Yuniesky Betancourt (who had a triple on Saturday) in favor of the light-hitting lefty Craig Counsell.
For the Diamondbacks, it is likely we will see Paul Goldschmidt get the start at first after Kirk Gibson gave the Game 1 nod to Lyle Overbay due to his career numbers at Miller Park and a few good appearances against Yovani Gallardo.
Beyond that, it will probably still be Ryan Roberts at third (he homered in Game 1) and Willie Bloomquist at short (two hits in Game 1). But with Gibson, you never really know and he could go with John McDonald at short and/or Geoff Blum at third if the numbers or his gut tell him something.
We will post the Game 2 lineups once they are announced.
NLDS Game 2 TV Schedule and start time
Calling the game for TBS will be Victor Rojas, Joe Simpson, Sam Ryan. If you are at the Cardinals game in Glendale and want to keep up, bring a small radio and listen on 620am.