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Diamondbacks Open Series With Marlins, History Looms Large

The Arizona Diamondbacks avoids the sweep in Pittsburgh and now get to face an even tougher Florida Marlins team who will be throwing their ace, Anibal Sanchez, in the first game. The Marlins (31-30) were recently beat 2-1 in a series by the D-backs and will have revenge on their fish breadth. 

Here's the projected pitching match ups in the four-game series. 

  • Friday: Joe Saunders (3-5, 4.32) vs. Anibal Sanchez (5-1, 2.97)
  • Saturday: Ian Kennedy (6-2, 3.01) vs. Javier Vazquez (3-5, 6.50)
  • Sunday: Daniel Hudson (6-5, 3.98) vs. Brad Hand (1-0, 1.50)
  • Monday: Zach Duke (1-1, 2.37) vs. Ricky Nolasco (4-1, 3.86)

Games 1, 2, and 4 will start at 4:10 p.m. Arizona time while Game 3 on Sunday starts at 10:10 a.m. All four games will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona with live game thread at AZ Snake Pit.

The D-backs made a roster move in the bullpen on Friday, calling up the closer from the Reno Aces, Brian Shaw. Zach Kroenke will head back to Reno.

Shaw, 23, was a combined 4-1 with 10 saves, a 2.37 ERA (8 ER in 30.1 IP) and .207 opponents average (23-for-111) with 11 walks and 24 strikeouts in 23 games at Reno and Double-A Mobile.

In 8 games for Reno, he went 1-0 with 3 saves, a 5.59 ERA (6 ER in 9.2 IP) and a .222 opponents average (8-for-36) with 3 walks and 9 strikeouts. In 15 games at Mobile, he went 3-1 with 7 saves, a 0.87 ERA (2 ER in 20.2 IP) and a .200 opponents average (15-for-75) with 8 walks and 15 strikeouts.

This will be Shaw's first stint in the Majors. He will wear No. 37.

Kroenke, 27, is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA (4 ER in 4.0 IP) and .333 opponents average (6-for-18) with a walk and 3 strikeouts in 4 games for the D-backs.

AZ Snake Pit has some interesting historical perspective on a turning point series between these two teams:

Series Preview #22: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Florida Marlins - AZ Snake Pit

By May 18, 2008, the Diamondbacks were 5.5 games ahead in the NL West with a record of 28-16. And then they went to Miami. There were three games at what was then known as Dolphin Stadium.  Webb, Haren and Micah Owings (people forget that he began that season 5-1) started the games, and all three lost in succession.  In what would become a season-long trend, the offense failed them, scoring three runs total in the three games played, and the three aces pitched well but gave up a few poorly-timed hits that allowed for the Marlins sweep.

Since that fateful series, the Arizona Diamondbacks have a record of 222-282, a winning percentage of .440.  The dynasty of young position players that D-Back fans were promised never occurred, the team's ace pitcher developed arm problems from which he has never recovered, they missed the playoffs in 2008 and has been in last place ever since.