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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #59: Snakes take on Jake

To avoid the sweep today, the Diamondbacks must go through the reigning Cy Young winner. Should be easy....

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images
Patrick Corbin
RHP, 2-5, 4.96
Jake Arrieta
RHP, 9-0, 1.56
Michael Bourn - CF Dexter Fowler - CF
Phil Gosselin - 2B Ben Zobrist - 2B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Kris Bryant - 1B
Jake Lamb - 3B Jorge Soler - LF
Chris Owings - SS Javier Baez - 3B
Chris Herrmann - C Addison Russell - SS
Yasmany Tomas - LF Matt Szczur - RF
Brandon Drury - RF Miguel Montero - C
Patrick Corbin - LHP Jake Arrieta - RHP

The last time Arrieta lost a game was July 25th last year. Since then he has twenty-two starts in a row without being beaten, allowing 19 earned runs in 169.1 innings, for an ERA of 1.01. If we score more than one run off him, we'll be doing extremely well: he has held the opposition to zero or one in 16 of those 22 outings. And the Cubs are 21-1 when he takes the mound. The sole loss came last time Arrieta started, when the Dodgers managed to win. In that contest, Arrieta tossed seven shutout innings of two-hit ball, for a Game Score of 77. The D-backs have had two starts this year that good. And, remember, it was the only time since last July the Cubs LOST an Arrieta start.

If I'm not making it clear: avoiding the sweep is going to be very, very tough. But there is some hope. Although the D-backs have never beaten Arrieta - he's 3-0 in four starts against us - his ERA is a relatively inflated 2.93 against us. And we do on our record, one of those six outings where he was relatively mortal, scoring three runs in eight hits off Jake when we faced him on April 10 at Chase Field. Hell, Socrates Brito hit his first (and, so far, only) home-run off Arrieta, with Goldie also homering that day. But it wasn't enough: three little words explain why that wasn't the case. Shelby. Miller. Start.

But all told, it hasn't been pretty. The current D-backs have a career .183 average against him - maybe we should be looking to use Zack Greinke off the bench today, as he has a 1.000 OBP facing Arrieta, being 1-for-1 with a walk. Otherwise, Goldschmidt and Lamb have the best numbers: it'll take others having good at-bats, the team as a whole taking advantage of whatever opportunities they get,  baseball more fundamentally sound than we've seen in the first couple of games, and Patrick Corbin performing in a suitably non-Milleresque fashion, if Arizona are to have any chance in this one.