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Game #127 Preview: 8/27, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. St. Louis Cardinals

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We appear to find ourselves staring down the barrel of a sweep, unless the Wheel O' De La Rosa lands on something good tonight.

Charles Laberge/Getty Images

The La Russa Heartbreakometer

What is this?

Heart Left WWW Heart right
Carlos Martinez
RHP, 12-6, 2.85
Rubby De La Rosa
RHP, 11-5, 4.32
Matt Carpenter - 1B Ender Inciarte - RF
Tommy Pham - CF A.J. Pollock - CF
Jason Heyward - RF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Jhonny Peralta - SS David Peralta - LF
Kolten Wong - 2B Welington Castillo - C
Brandon Moss - LF Jake Lamb - 3B
Tony Cruz - C Aaron Hill - 2B
Greg Garcia - 3B Chris Owings - SS
Carlos Martinez - RHP Rubby De La Rosa - RHP

You'd be forgiven for thinking the Diamondbacks had been utterly murdered in this series, having lost all three games and been outscored by a combined margin of 17-5. But the underlying number suggest that gap is fairly flattering to the Cardinals. The Diamondbacks have actually outhit them by a fair margin, with our batting average of .277 being 22 points higher than that of the visitors. They have taken more than twice as many walks (13:6) and that plus their better power numbers does mean the overall OPS tilts in favor of St. Louis, though even there probably not by as much as you would think - .691 to .732.

But there is one area where they have man-handled us: hitting with runners in scoring position. We have managed a total of three hits with RISP this series, in 16 at-bats. St. Louis has not only had a lot more chances - 29 at-bats, indicating they've done a better "job" of stringing their hits together to create sustained rallies - they also have eight hits compared to our three. This is unusual, because over the season as a whole, we have been the more "clutch" team with an OPS of .726 with RISP, compared to the Cardinals' .698. That has certainly not been the case this series, and is largely why it has gone pear-shaped.

All of which is a way of saying, while I won't argue against any suggestion that the better team has won, the gap between them is likely narrower than the 17-5 run deficit would indicate. I'm hoping for some nice, shiny regression tonight, so we can at least stave off a four-game home sweep, the mirror-image of the one we inflicted on the Reds just last weekend. Worse still, it would be the first 0-for-the-season against any opponent we've played more than three times, since going 0-6 against the Montreal Expos in 2004. So, back when there were Expos. And when they were in Montreal. Let's not go there, please?