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Game #44 Preview: 5/25, Arizona Diamondbacks @ St. Louis Cardinals

After a winning homestand, albeiit of only three games, we face perhaps the toughest test so far this season, in St. Louis, against the team with the best record in the National League.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Chase Anderson
RHP, 1-1, 2.54
Carlos Martinez
RHP, 4-2, 4.08
Ender Inciarte - CF Kolten Wong - 2B
Mark Trumbo - RF Matt Carpenter - 3B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Matt Holliday - LF
David Peralta - LF Matt Adams - 1B
Yasmany Tomas - 3B Jhonny Peralta - SS
Chris Owings - 2B Yadier Molina - C
Tuffy Gosewisch - C Jason Heyward - RF
Nick Ahmed - SS Peter Bourjos - CF
Chase Anderson - RHP Carlos Martinez - RHP

If Chase pitches as he has done of late, this is probably our best chance of victory. Anderson may only have won once in eight games, but he has pitched far better than that. Indeed, he has not given up more than one run in any of his four starts this month. Only two starters in Diamondbacks history have had longer streaks. Brandon Webb was the last, back in 2007, with five consecutive games - even more remarkably, he allowed zero runs in each start, as part of his 42-inning scoreless streak. The other was Randy Johnson Curt Schilling Dan Haren Ian Kennedy Er, actually it was Andy Benes, who went six straight at the end of our debut season in 1998. #YCPB

There is no doubt Anderson has been lucky, with a BABIP of .182 in May, figuring heavily into his 1.03 ERA this month. Compare and contrast April, where his BABIP was .338 and his ERA was 4.24. Still, there's no point in worrying yourself about that going forward: while we shouldn't expect it to continue, those May starts are already in the bank, and even the baseball gods can't take them back now,. What is a bit concerning is Anderson's K:BB ratio, as his strikeouts have recently evaporated. Through five starts, it was a perfectly good 27:7 in 29.1 innings. But over his last three outings, covering 20.1 frames, Chase has walked six and struck out only seven.

Ahmed owns a nine-game hitting streak, which is now the best by a Diamondback this season. The last Arizona hitter to reach double-digits was Ender Inciarte, who had a 15-game streak in September last year, on the heels of an 18-game one in July and August. Goldschmidt's 11-game run at the start of July was the only other one to get into two figures. If anyone needed it, Ahmed did. On May 11, after appearing in 27 games, he was hitting .130. Since then, he's 14-for-30, and has increased the average by 86 points. Of course, BABIP plays its part there too, with Ahmed at .591 in that time - but as with Anderson, those hits aren't going anywhere!