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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #25: Dingers, not Dinger

The last time the Rockies came to Chase Field, it was to inflict an unwelcome opening series defeat on the D-backs. Tonight, we get a chance for revenge.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Tyler Chatwood
RHP, 2-2, 3.47
Robbie Ray
LHP, 1-0, 3.80
Charlie Blackmon - CF Jean Segura - SS
Trevor Story - SS Jake Lamb - 3B
Nolan Arenado - 3B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Mark Reynolds - 1B David Peralta - RF
Ryan Raburn - LF Yasmany Tomas - LF
Gerardo Parra - RF Welington Castillo - C
Nick Hundley - C Brandon Drury - 2B
DJ LeMahieu - 2B Chris Owings - CF
Tyler Chatwood - RHP Robbie Ray - LHP

I don't want to jinx the possibility, but depending on how results go elsewhere, a win tonight could see the Diamondbacks in sole possession of first-place in the National League West. While 24 games into the season is likely a bit early to be scoreboard watching, today sees the Giants with a tough contest on the road in New York, while the Dodgers, after being swept in four games by the Marlins, will face the Padres in Los Angeles. All three teams start play today within one-half game of each other at the top of the National League West, so at the penultimate day of the first month, the division is shaping up to be as closely-fought a battle as was expected.

Tonight sees a battle of two starters who are both undefeated against this evening's opponent. Chatwood has four starts versus the Diamondbacks, and is 2-0 with a 3.32 ERA, while Ray's three starts facing the Rockies has resulted in a 1-0 record and a 2.04 ERA. Chatwood does have a recent W under his belt against us, having taken the win in the final game of that opening series, where he allowed one earned run over 6.1 innings, on seven hits. He certainly hasn't enjoyed the Coors Experience this year, so will be glad to be on the road: in 2016, his two home starts have resulted in a 7.20 ERA, while the two road ones have a 0.68 ERA, including seven shutout innings of two-hit ball against a nasty Cubs offense.

Meanwhile, Ray has been our best starting pitcher to date, even if his last outing was a flop, as he failed to throw a quality start for the first time this season, lasting only three innings against the Pirates. It wasn't all Ray's fault, as he was BABIP'd to death there, 13 balls in plays leading to eight hits, a .615 figure likely more than twice the average. He actually left the mound with a one-run lead, but Tyler Wagner continued the trend that inning, as five balls in play resulted in three hits and a Paul Goldschmidt error, leading to five runs. Seems like a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstance, so I'm looking forward to a bounceback outing from Ray and the D-backs securing a first month without a losing record.