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Game #157 Preview: 9/29, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies

Home, sweet home, for the final time, as we begin the last home-stand of the 2016 season.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Christian Bergman
RHP, 3-1, 4.62
Robbie Ray
RHP, 5-12, 3.53
Charlie Blackmon - CF Ender Inciarte - RF
Jose Reyes - SS Brandon Drury - 2B
Carlos Gonzalez - RF A.J. Pollock - CF
Nolan Arenado - 3B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Corey Dickerson - LF David Peralta - LF
Justin Morneau - 1B Welington Castillo - C
DJ LeMahieu - 2B Jake Lamb - 3B
Tom Murphy - C Chris Owings - SS
Christian Bergman - LHP Robbie Ray - RHP

Say what you like, but I think Ray has actually had a pretty good season. 23-year-olds who can throw 100+ innings with an ERA+ of 116 and a FIP basically in line with his ERA (3.54 vs. 3.53) don't come along very often. In fact, Ray will be only the second pitcher that age in franchise history with 100 IP and an ERA+ of 110 or better, the other being Patrick Corbin in 2013. Even if you broaden your scope out to cover the entire major-leagues, in any given season, you will typically only find a handful of young pitchers who put up comparable numbers. Obviously, there are still issues (pitch count!), but there aren't many names likely ahead of Ray at this point, in terms of 2016 rotation spots.

This will likely be his penultimate start, though that may depend on whether the team opts for a five- or six-man rotation the rest of the way. It's certainly looking likely that the Astros will not have clinched by the time they come to town on Friday, being just half a game ahead of the Angels for the second wild-card, and if their final series, against us at Chase, turns out to be pivotal, one imagines Chip Hale could be less inclined to roll out that staple of rotations at the end of the season, Toby Announced, as the starting pitcher. We'll see how things work out over the next few days, but I'm inclined to suspect Ray will get to start the final game on Sunday.

Somebody who won't be starting any more games, however, is shortstop Nick Ahmed, who appears to be done for the season, due to his hip and lower-back issues. No point pushing it, according to Hale, and that makes sense, even if the MRI showed only bruising. Someone else who won't be taking part tonight - albeit for rather more pleasant reasons - is Brad Ziegler, who is still with his wife and newborn daughter. Oh, and I though this Tweet was kinda interesting...