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Game #74 Preview: 6/27, Arizona Diamondbacks @ San Diego Padres

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OMG! A losing streak! DON'T PANIC!!!!

Guang Niu/Getty Images
Jeremy Hellickson
RHP, 5-4, 4.94
Andrew Cashner
RHP, 2-9, 4.35
Nick Ahmed - SS Matt Kemp - RF
A.J. Pollock - CF Yangervis Solarte - 3B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Yonder Alonso - 1B
David Peralta - LF Justin Upton - LF
Yasmany Tomas - RF Derek Norris - C
Jarrod Saltalamacchia - C Will Venable - CF
Jake Lamb - 3B Cory Spangenberg - 2B
Chris Owings - 2B Alexi Amarista - SS
Jeremy Hellickson - RHP Andrew Cashner - RHP

S'funny what a difference a single defeat can Tmake; after the strenuous, failed attempts to reach .500 over the past couple of weeks, consecutive losses suddenly feels like a complete disaster. In some ways it is, because you have to go all the way back to June 10 to find the last time the Diamondbacks lost consecutive contests, as they got swept out of Los Angeles. They fell five games below .500 at that point, one off the season high, and things looked bleak. But they then swept the Giants in San Francisco, and didn't lose another series until the one just finished against the Rockies. Fortunes can change quickly: I'm just hoping this isn't the start of a lengthy down-turn.

I'd quite happily settle for a repeat of the last time we saw Hellickson take on Cashner, which was last Sunday at Chase Field, with the Diamondbacks coming out on top by a 7-2 margin. We dealt with Cashner rather better than we had Tyson Ross the previous night, taking full advantage of some San Diego gaffes to tag him for seven runs and send him packing after four innings of work. Having clearly been guilty of sloppy play ourselves last night, we should be mindful of how costly that can be; it may not guarantee a loss, but it's a lot easier to win when you aren't giving the opposition extra chances and/or are running into unnecessary outs of your own.

Ahmed gets another shot at the top of the order, which is... interesting. I hope the top of the order can get it done, because Salty, Lamb, Owings and the pitcher's spot do not fill me with a great deal of optimism. In 15 games since his return, Lamb has just a .463 OPS, with 18 strikeouts in 52 at-bats, That's a striking contrast to the 1.204 OPS he had when Jake hit the DL; I'm just hoping we're not talking an Owings-like rehab, where he apparently needs to play for four months before getting back to being fully healthy. With a .265 BABIP, Lamb has been slightly unlucky, but a 32% K-rate isn't doing himself any favors either.