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Game #28 Preview: 5/8, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres

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Can the Diamondbacks get their first four-game winning streak in not far off two years?

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
James Shields
RHP, 3-0, 3.72
Jeremy Hellickson
RHP, 1-3, 5.20
Wil Myers - 1B A.J. Pollock - CF
Cory Spangenberg - 2B Mark Trumbo - RF
Matt Kemp - RF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Justin Upton - LF David Peralta - LF
Yangervis Solarte - 3B Yasmany Tomas - 3B
Derek Norris - C Aaron Hill - 2B
Will Venable - CF Chris Owings - SS
Alexi Amarista - SS Tuffy Gosewisch - C
James Shields - RHP Jeremy Hellickson - RHP

It has been a while. The last time the Diamondbacks put together four victories in a row, was from July 3-7 in 2013, when they took the last two games in New York, before coming home to sweep a three-game set against Colorado. They've had no shortage of opportunities since, This is the 10th three-game winning streak since, but they have gone 0-9 in the previous nine attempts at reaching a four-game run. The most recent case was on September 16 last year: we had just beating the Padres twice at Chase, and welcomed the Giants in their wake, winning the opener. However, Josh Collmenter lost to Jake Peavy, San Francisco prevailing 2-1.

The pitching match-up tonight does not appear to favor the Diamondbacks, with "Big Game James" making his first start against Arizona since June 2007 when he was with Tampa Bay. We kicked his ass handily on that day, tagging him for six runs in five innings, as he lost to Micah Owings. But that was basically meaningless, Shields having started over 250 games since. Aaron Hill has far and away the most experience against Shields, from when they were both in the American League East. But even the most recent of these was August 2011, so Hill's line of .286/.324/.657 doesn't mean much either.

For our part, we send our Hellickson who has been more awful than awe-inspiring so far this season. And yet, his FIP is better than both Archie Bradley and Josh Collmenter, so he appears to have taken over the role of Brandon McCarthy, as someone doomed by BABIP. Hellickson's .380 mark there is 68 points higher than any other of our starting pitchers to date. If it wouldn't mind regressing tonight, that would be nice, as a victory for the D-backs would take us back up to the .500 mark, which we last saw after dropping the opener of the series against the Pirates, on April 24. Still, after outscoring the opposition 29-8 since the start of Wednesday, who knows?