The Arizona Diamondbacks come home from their trip through the AL Central with a 4-2 record that sounds good but is still tasting somewhat bitter after the blown late lead on Sunday. The Cleveland Indians come to town fresh off getting swept by the those damn Giants who have regained a game and a half lead in the NL West despite scoring just eight runs in three games. Pitching. Pitching. Pitching.
The Indians (40-36) are just one game behind the Detroit Tigers and will absolutely be looking to bounce back from their beating by the bay. Arizona has a long (and sorry) history of mistreating Indians, but on the baseball diamond these two teams have played just nine games. The D-backs winning four and Cleveland five.
The pitching match ups at least favor Arizona for the first two games, then it's a crap shoot with Zach Duke.
Monday: Ian Kennedy (8-2, 2.90) vs. Mitch Talbot (2-4, 4.91)
Tuesday: Daniel Hudson (9-5, 3.58) vs. Josh Tomlin (9-4, 3.95)
Wednesday: Zach Duke (1-2, 5.73) vs. Carlos Carrasco (7-4, 3.62)
Monday's and Tuesday's games are at the normal 6:40 p.m. start time with Wednesday featuring a 12:40 day game. I happen to know for a fact there will be a ton of summer camp kids (including mine) at that Wednesday game. Don't say you weren't warned. Games will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona with the live game thread at AZ Snake Pit.
Series Preview #27: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Cleveland Indians - AZ Snake Pit
Every season, there are two or three "Cinderella" stories, teams that are short on payroll and generally not expected to compete that end up playing better than expected and fighting for a playoff spot. Some get overlooked by pundits, while some simply get lucky over the course of the season. Sometimes they pull it off, like the 2008 Rays, and sometimes they fall a bit short, like the 2010 Padres, but either way it can be exciting to see if these teams can upset the established order before the luck dragons devour them once and for all. As a fan of a small-market team that's been terrible the last couple of seasons, sometimes it can be fun just to root for the underdog. It gives you hope for the future and, more importantly, at least it's not the damn Yankees again.
I bring this up because the two main Cinderella stories in 2011 are the Diamondbacks and the Indians.
After these three games, the D-backs head out for 10 on the road while Chase Field is prepared to host the 2011 MLB All-Star game. Your next chance to see the D-backs at home comes on July 15th so get out to the park and see some Indian killing!