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Game #92 Preview: 7/21, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Miami Marlins

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The Diamondbacks need to preform better in game situations that are possibly out of their control.

Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

MIAMI MARLINS ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Ichiro Suzuki - RF A.J. Pollock - CF
Martin Prado - 2B Chris Owings - 2B
Christian Yelich - CF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Justin Bour - 1B David Peralta - LF
Mike Morse - LF Yasmany Tomas - RF
Derek Dietrich - 3B Jake Lamb - 3B
J.T. Realmuto - C Welington Castillo - C
Adeiny Hechavarria - SS Nick Ahmed - SS
Mat Latos - RHP Jeremy Hellickson - RHP

According to Baseball Reference, the following things are true about the Diamondbacks:

  • Their record is 15-14 in games decided by one run
  • Their record is 11-11 in games decided by five runs or more in either direction
  • Ergo their record is 17-23 in games decided by two to four runs.
One could probably argue that the record in the third category is more indicative of how the Diamondbacks truly are as a team. While one-run games have been the most common throughout history (according to this, admittedly, very old study done by B-R), 2-4 run games comprise the biggest combined share of game margins.

So what should the Diamondbacks do to play better in these situations? Uh... just be a better baseball team in general....? There isn't a big unlockable mystery about it nor a special skill, like people seem to think happens in one-run games like it's not a product of some amount of random variance and baseball entropy.

Anyway, Jeremy Hellickson is the pitcher starting tonight. He's been not-great, though you could pretty much say that with every member of the pitching staff this year except maybe Robbie Ray. He was bought as a bounce back candidate, but a lot of his traditional and more advanced statistics are mirroring his last two seasons in Tampa Bay, where he fell off a cliff in a Wile E Coyote fashion from his first two full seasons. He does, however, have a better FIP this year than his Rookie of the Year winning season in 2011 (4.04 vs 4.44) which goes to show you more of that randomness of the universe I was talking about.

Opposing him is Mat Latos, trade candidate. Latos hasn't taken to Miami very well (which, to be fair, if you've read any Carl Hiaasen books, is totally understandable.) He's put up a 4.90 ERA so far, but a 3.48 FIP suggests that he's had some bad luck. He's on the last year of his deal, so a team that feels that Johnny Cueto or Cole Hamels is too pricey could pick up a decent starter that could help them put them in a good place for the playoffs.

Game starts at 6:40, so watch it.