Preview: Game #143, Diamondbacks @ Dodgers

Stephen Dunn

20 games left in the season, folks.

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Randall Delgado
RHP, 4-5, 3.69
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Rickie Nolasco
RHP, 12-9, 3.26

Diamondbacks line-up

  1. Adam Eaton, RF
  2. Aaron Hill, 2B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Eric Chavez, 3B
  5. Martin Prado, LF
  6. Miguel Montero, C
  7. Gerardo Parra, RF
  8. Didi Gregorius, SS
  9. Randall Delgado, P

Elimination number = 11. That's the number of Diamondbacks losses plus Reds wins which would officially remove us from post-season contention. It's a little different from the division number, pitting us against the Dodgers. That currently sits at 10, and obviously could start shrinking rapidly over the next three games, with each victory for the home side taking two off, because it counts on both sides of the equation. We conceivably could be out of that thing as soon as Friday night, people, with all post-season chances mathematically eliminated the following day. Note sure if that would be preferable to the long, lingering death of all hope.

That said, dammit: beat the Dodgers. Surprised to realize that we actually are ahead in the division series against them, having won seven of the twelve games between us this season. Of course, the last of those seven victories came back on June 12, dropping the Dodgers to a 28-37 record, and expanding our division lead to two games... over the Colorado Rockies. Since then, the good news is, the Diamondbacks have had the second-best record in the division. The bad news? We've gone 35-41, trailing the Dodgers by 19.5 games.

The last series, at Chase in the first half of July, didn't exactly go too well for us. We were outscored 12-2 over the first two games, though at least did make a fight of the finale. Okay, by :"fight", I actually mean "blew a ninth-inning lead and lost in 14", as the Dodgers completed a sweep that took our lead from a season-high 4.5 games, and whittled it back to 1.5. Less than a week later, we were out of first place, and haven't sniffed it since. I suspect, when the story of the 2013 season eventually has its i's dotted and t's crossed [kids, ask your parents what that means], that set will be one of the turning-points. And not in a good way.

Tonight, we'll see if Delgado can keep doing what he has been doing - or, rather, hasn't been doing, with one home-run allowed over his last two starts. Considering the five prior appearances resulted in eight balls not coming back, over only 30 innings, this is a distinct improvement, though his HR/FB rate could still do with some more regression over the final four starts. I'm not certain what Delgado's role will be for the team on Opening Day 2014. It's probably going to depend on whether the team feels the likes of Tyler Skaggs, David Holmberg and (less likely) Archie Bradley are preferable, but if he can keep those HR down (literally), he should be in the mix.

BattleMoses on the recap tonight, if the rebuilding of his 'puter has completed in time. Hope everyone in Phoenix has managed to stay fairly dry after this morning's deluge: I think we did open the windows for the first time since April, but are now back to the usual hermetically-sealed living environment. Roll on October.

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