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Game #66 Preview: 6/18, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Angels

Look: eighth time's the charm?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
C.J. Wilson
LHP, 4-5, 3.60
Allen Webster
RHP, 1-0, 3.18
Johnny Giavotella - 2B A.J. Pollock - CF
Kole Calhoun - RF Aaron Hill - 3B
Mike Trout - CF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Albert Pujols - 1B Yasmany Tomas - RF
David Freese - 3B Chris Owings - 2B
Efren Navarro - LF Jarrod Saltalamacchia - C
Carlos Perez - C David Peralta - LF
Taylor Featherston - SS Nick Ahmed - SS
C.J. Wilson - LHP Allen Webster - RHP

Seeing how it's not that long since our last attempt to reach .500 was repelled, the same way as the six before that, I'm not going to rehash their history. You know the deal. However, it has still been a good month for the D-backs so far. As we reach the half-way point in June, we have a 9-7 record, which is actually the best in the division for the month. This may not sound all that great, but the last time the Diamondbacks were even two games over .500 for a complete calendar month was more than two years ago, in May 2013, when we went 15-12. Looking at the schedule, I'm optimistic we should be able to beat that.

For of the dozen games we have remaining in June, nine of them are against the Padres and Rockies (there is also today's against the Angels, and two at the end of the month versus the Dodgers). A winning record the rest of the way seems eminently plausible, given how both San Diego and Colorado have been struggling of late. That would put us at 16-12 or better, which would be our best mark in at least three years, since June 2012, when the Diamondbacks were 16-10. That would certainly be nice to see, but it does likely hinge significantly on whether the rotation can maintain their generally good form.

One knock-on effect of the starters going deeper into games has been a significantly lower workload on the bullpen. In June, they have thrown 47 innings, which is seventh in the National League, and works out at less than three per game. When you have fresh arms, it leaves the manager better able to select the best pitchers for a specific match-up or situation, rather than being limited because half his bullpen is whimpering in the corner, clutching its elbow and cringing when they hear the phone ring. We saw this last night in the crucial seventh, where Hale was able to use three relievers in an inning, because other arms were available.