Preview: Game #88, Diamondbacks vs. Rockies

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The Diamondbacks go for the sweep over the Rockies at Chase Field this afternoon, with their 2013 ace, All-Star Patrick Corbin on the mound.

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Roy Oswalt
RHP, 0-3, 7.88
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Patrick Corbin
LHP, 9-1, 2.49

Diamondbacks Line-up

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

What a difference four days makes. After the sweep in Atlanta and losing the first two games of the season, it seemed that the Diamondbacks' season was on the verge of meltdown, taking the SnakePit with it. But, half a week later, our lead in the division is back to being the biggest it has been all season, thanks most recently to a pair of thumpings administered to our nearest rivals coming in, by a combined score of 15-1. Everything looks a lot better now, not least our run differential. When the series started, we were at risk of slipping into "being outscored" territory, at +1, with the Rockies well ahead at +20. Now, it's reversed: we are at +16, eleven ahead of Colorado's +5.

The past couple of games in particular have been really solid, with good offense and timely hits, but I think the key to the winning streak has been the impressive and effective starting pitching. The total over that last four starts is five earned runs over 30 innings of work, a 1.50 ERA, with - and I think this is particularly key - a K:BB ratio of 27:4. Compare that to the same number over the five game losing streak when we struck out only 21 batters and walked 16, while our starters threw 26.1 frames. The recent performances have been much more encouraging, and given they've come from the de facto #2 through #5 in our rotation, all the better.

Of course, we'll also be keeping an eye on the game in San Francisco, where the Giants will be trying to take down Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers. It's kind of a win for the Diamondbacks either way, since Kershaw's start means we won't have to face him during the series against Los Angeles which takes place next week. Yes, I know we've already beaten the Dodgers in three Kershaw starts this year, but it's something I'd rather not have to do. It's still not quite certain who we will be facing, with Los Angeles having acquired Nolasco from the Marlins; he'd be scheduled to start tomorrow, I believe. Maybe they'll push Greinke back, so he can face Kennedy on Tuesday. That'd be fun. :)

But let's not get ahead of ourselves at this point. Priority one is to beat the Rockies this afternoon, complete the sweep and send them 5.5 games back in the division: That's also ensure our lead over Los Angeles will remain at least 4.5 games, regardless of what they do, and give us some breathing room heading into the series against them. With Patrick Corbin taking the mound for us, I think we've got a good chance. imstillhungry95 will be on the guest recap after the event, so stick around for that.

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