Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers Pregame — Merrill Kelly vs. Dustin May

The Diamondbacks and Dodgers line up for the National Anthem after pregame festivities.
(Photo by Evan Thompson/Sport Relay)

Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers Pregame — April 6, 2023

PHOENIX, Apr. 6 — It’s the Diamondbacks‘ home opener and, as often happens when playing against the Dodgers, the game is officially a sellout. Prior to the game, both managers spoke with the press.

Torey Lovullo, Diamondbacks Manager

Home openers, despite not being on the actual Opening Day, are still special, according to Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo. “We’re super excited to play here in front of our home fans. We know there out there. And Opening Day always seems to be the best crowd of the year. We get super energized by it, so it’s going to be fun.”

When asked what the first six games showed, Lovullo responded, “That we’re a good baseball team. And we’re going to give effort. We’re going to be prepared, and we’re going to be adaptable in any situation. That we’re going to keep moving forward in a very uncommon way. And that’s who we are every single day. We’re an exciting baseball team, loaded with athleticism, trying to capitalize on every key situation that we can.”

Lovullo said they’ve probably only played one good baseball game of the first six but have managed to win three. Which game? The last one against the Padres. “We played our brand of baseball. A little sloppy in the first couple of innings. I don’t think we were executing at a very high level defensively or with certain pitches in certain situations. But we figured it out. Our backs were against the wall against a really good starting pitcher in Yu Darvish, but we fought and got into their bullpen and won that game.”

Fortunate Timing

Given the speed of this roster, the plan was to run and run often. This has been the case since drafting this group. But with the rule changes, the speed on the roster has become even more advantageous to the Diamondbacks. “I manage the team that I have,” Lovullo said. He added, “I wouldn’t ask a slow team to run fast and wouldn’t ask a fast team to run slow. So I want to find out where our strengths are, find out who we are, create an identity with what we’ve already begun to create here, and continue to grow let that grow every single day.”

Several teams, given the disengagement limit, have begun to call pickoff attempts from the dugout. San Diego Padres manager Bob Melvin is one who does so. The Diamondbacks do as well, and it’s controlled by bench coach Jeff Banister.

Drey Jameson

Drey Jameson’s early success in long relief has made the team walk a tight rope. They want to use him as much as possible but don’t want to overuse him and risk injury. “We have criteria we follow. It is put together by the medical team. And I follow that. I’m not going to exceed limitations or usage. I have to be careful, because he has a very bright future with us.”

Jameson had a two-inning save in the last game of the Padres series. This was, Lovullo explained, because they were “extremely thinned out in the bullpen.” There are other scenarios where Jameson could shoot for a multiple-inning save, but Lovullo concluded by saying, “We have very good relievers in the bullpen that probably will get other opportunities to close out games.”

Quick Hits

Corbin Carroll was dropped off at the game by his parents. “Doesn’t surprise me at all. Parking is going to be tough tonight,” Lovullo joked when told about this.

The team will still use matchups to determine who will pitch the eighth and ninth.

Dave Roberts, Dodgers Manager

Third baseman Max Muncy had to leave the Saturday evening game against the Diamondbacks after taking a ground ball to the groin. Later it was revealed that he was not wearing a cup. Manager Dave Roberts said he now will have one at all times.

This is David Peralta’s first game back at Chase Field since the Diamondbacks traded him to the Tampa Bay Rays near the 2022 trade deadline. Roberts said Peralta adds “energy, professionalism, and talent.” In addition, Roberts said, “He’s a lot of fun. And he’s infectious. He’s been very additive for our ballclub. It’s a lot better seeing him in a Dodgers jersey than a DBacks jersey for sure.

“He plays every game like it’s his last. There’s a fire, an energy he brings. He’s an intelligent baseball player who plays a game to win, but not for himself. He’s a very unselfish ballplayer.”

Main Photo Credits:

PHOENIX (Apr. 6) — The Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers line up for the Star-Spangled Banner, which was performed on the trumpet by Dr. Jesse McGuire.
(Photo by Evan Thompson/Sport Relay)

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Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan is the owner and sole contributor of Thompson Talks, a website discussing the Big Four North American Pro Sports as well as soccer. He also is a credentialed member of the Colorado Rockies press corps. His first and biggest love is baseball.

Evan lives in Gilbert, Arizona and loves history, especially of sports. He is the treasurer for the Hemond Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and also is a USSF and AIA soccer referee. He released his first book, Volume I of A Complete History of the Major League Baseball Playoffs, in October of 2021.

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