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Game #159 Preview: 10/1, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies

Patrick Corbin's last start of the year.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
David Hale
RHP, 5-5,6.01
Patrick Corbin
LHP, 6-5, 3.28
Charlie Blackmon - CF A.J. Pollock - CF
Jose Reyes - SS Phil Gosselin - 2B
Nolan Arenado - 3B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Wilin Rosario - 1B David Peralta - LF
DJ LeMahieu - 2B Welington Castillo - C
Tom Murphy - C Jake Lamb - 3B
Kyle Parker - RF Yasmany Tomas - RF
Rafael Ynoa - LF Chris Owings - SS
David Hale - RHP Patrick Corbin - LHP

I think it's probably safe to say that Corbin's 2015 has been a success. It took a little longer to get under way than we expected, Patrick missing the first three months of the season as well as the entirety of 2014, as the team took a cautious approach to his post-Tommy John rehab. They also imposed a strict pitch cap on Corbin of 95 pitches, and that has been followed to the letter; only once has he even reached 90 pitches. But even with this limitation - or, perhaps, because of it? - Corbin has proved highly effective, throwing a median of six innings per outing, and four times getting outs in the seventh.

Yes, there have been some bumps along the way - there were a couple of very shaky outings in August, where Corbin lasted two innings or less. But these are likely to be expected, especially given the very long layoff Corbin had between meaningful outings, with basically 21 months between major-league starts. Two-thirds of his starts have resulted in Corbin allowing two runs or fewer, which anyone will take from a starting pitcher. After a somewhat wobbly outing last time, not making it through five innings against Los Angeles, it would be good to see Corbin tie a bow on his 2015 season with a strong outing, perhaps setting the stage for an Opening Day start in 2016.

It would also be nice to complete the sweep of the Rockies, given our last such was the one over the Cincinnati Reds on the road from August 20-23, which was also the last time the Diamondbacks won four games in a row, something they have the chance to do again here. These may be meaningless wins in the context of the 2015 season, but what they do is lift the team a little higher in terms of a foundation for the 2016 campaign. The closer we can get to a .500 finish this year, the smaller an improvement will be needed for the team to compete. If we can finish within 10 games of the Dodgers, that would seem plausible striking distance, with smart moves, good health and a bit of luck.