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Game #154 Preview: 9/25, Arizona Diamondbacks @ San Diego Padres

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Will tonight be the game that breaks Tony La Russa's heart?

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The La Russa Heartbreakometer

What is this?

Heart Left WWWWWWWW Heart right
Rubby De La Rosa
RHP, 13-8, 4.60
Casey Kelly
RHP, 0-0, 4.50
Ender Inciarte - RF Wil Myers - 1B
Phil Gosselin - 2B Cory Spangenberg - 3B
A.J. Pollock - CF Matt Kemp - RF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Justin Upton - LF
David Peralta - LF Jedd Gyorko - 2B
Welington Castillo - C Derek Norris - C
Jake Lamb - 3B Alexi Amarista - SS
Brandon Drury - SS Casey Kelly - RHP
Rubby De La Rosa - RHP Travis Jankowski - CF

For the team finds themselves eight games below .500, with nine games left to play. If Tony's heart is to remain intact, the Diamondbacks need to win out the rest of the way. That seems... somewhat unlikely. We have exactly one nine-game winning streak in the past 12 years, having done so at the end of August 2011, powered by a great spell of pitching which conceded a total of a dozen runs over those nine wins. Goldie is the only survivor from the final game of that streak who is in tonight's starting line-up, though we may see others, such as Aaron Hill, Josh Collmenter and David Hernandez at some point.

The other point to ponder - perhaps as much for a view towards 2016 as anything - is the presence of Drury at shortstop. He had nine games there for the Reno Aces earlier this year, but those were his sole starts at the position since his rookie season in pro-ball with the Braves in 2010. But he was actually drafted as a shortstop out of high-school. With Jake Lamb apparently settling in nicely at 3B, if Drury can demonstrate some positional flexibility, that will likely improve his chance of making the roster next year, though tonight's game is clearly as much because Nick Ahmed is still not game-ready.

Also announced before this game, Jhoulys Chacin will no longer be starting the finale of this series on Sunday, with Zack Godley once again making the transition from a reliever to a starter. As Zach Buchanan put it:

It's not immediately a case of Chacin being pushed back, because Ray will start Tuesday's opener in Colorado, and it seems, will get the call for the last game of the 2014 season too, against Houston a week Sunday. All the better to keep the Astros out of the pool...