Preview: Game #78, Diamondbacks @ Nationals

USA TODAY Sports Images

Patrick Corbin goes for win #10. Stop me if you've heard this one before...

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Patrick Corbin
LHP, 9-0, 2.19
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Stephen Strasburg
RHP, 4-6, 2.40

Diamondbacks Line-up

  1. Gerardo Parra, CF
  2. Aaron Hill, 2B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Miguel Montero, C
  5. Cody Ross, RF
  6. Jason Kubel, LF
  7. Didi Gregorius, SS
  8. Cliff Pennington, 3B
  9. Patrick Corbin, P

Haven't we been here before? Corbin gets his fifth crack at starting the season 10-0, an unprecedented mark for a D-backs pitcher. All previous four have ended in no-decisions, despite Corbin's ERA over that time of 2.54. In three of the four, he has pitched into the eighth, and allowed two or fewer runs - no dice. There have been other, similar streak in team history: most recently and dramatically, Ian Kennedy in September 2010, who went 0-0 in four starts, despite an 0.75 ERA (two runs allowed in 24 IP). But if the streak doesn't end today, one way or another, it'll be getting up there. The franchise record for consecutive no-decisions by a starter is six, by Armando Reynoso in 1999.

Probably rather not face Strasburg as we try to avoid the sweep, but he hasn't had much better luck than Corbin, which explains why he has only got four wins in 14 attempts, despite a pretty ERA. This was particularly evident in a seven-game streak early on, where he went 0-5, despite a thoroughly respectable 3.61 ERA in that time, because his team-mates scored a total of 16 runs over those seven contests. Since then, he has been even better, with a 1.46 ERA over his last six appearances, though missed the first half of June. Won't be easy today: but be nice to add him to our list of scalps. Cueto, Darvish, Gallardo, Kershaw, Wainwright... Strasburg?

Contrary to what you might see on some schedules, this game will be televised, Fox Sports Arizona adding it to their slate because of the interest, and a Corbin-Strasburg match-up. Of course, it still starts at 4pm in Washington (1pm Arizona), which seems like a weird start time, neither one thing nor another, not day or night. I guess it's not that far to the D-backs next stop in Atlanta - a little over 500 miles or so, as the crow flies - so they don't need a particularly early finish to the game in order to reach there tonight.

Despite the defeats on Tuesday and Wednesday, our lead in the NL West has remained entirely unaffected, because on both days, neither the GIants, Rockies or Padres could manage to win - San Diego came closest last night, taking 11 innings before succumbing to Philadelphia. That leaves everyone else in the division except for the Diamondbacks, now below .500, and don't look now, but the Dodgers have suddenly come back to life, won five in a row and are sitting six back of us. Can't the goddamn Giants do anything right? Certainly be nice to take care of our own business, avoid the sweep and, ideally, get the #10-shaped monkey off Corbin's back.

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