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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #91: Unbeaten streak on the line

Hey, look! Baseball's back!

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Bud Norris
RHP, 4-7, 3.98
Patrick Corbin
LHP, 4-7, 4.94
Howie Kendrick - LF Jean Segura - 2B
Corey Seager - SS Michael Bourn - CF
Justin Turner - 3B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Adrian Gonzalez - 1B Jake Lamb - 3B
Yasiel Puig - RF Welington Castillo - C
Scott Van Slyke - CF Chris Herrmann - LF
Yasmani Grandal - C Yasmany Tomas - RF
Chris Taylor - 2B Patrick Corbin - LHP
Bud Norris - RHP Nick Ahmed - SS

Yeah, the way the first-half ended for the Diamondbacks, you might be forgiven for having wished the second half out into a cornfield somewhere. But, regardless, it's back: only 72 more games until the blessed, merciful end of the season, folks! Alternatively, the days off have reinvigorated and recharged your enthusiasm for the game, and you're looking forward to the D-backs sticking it to the Dodgers this series. We may not have much hope of the playoffs, but if we can stop Los Angeles or San Franscisco from making it there, this season will not have been entirely wasted. Either approach is valid, and I wouldn't argue with you, either way.

Personally, I'm leaning toward the optimistic, not least because I no longer have the sense of dread triggered by thinking, "Oh god: it's only three days until the next Shelby Miller start." I'd got used to the losses, it was really the inevitable rehashing of the trade which followed every single frickin' outing that was particularly wearing. It was almost as irritating as the endless Hawt Taykes about the D-backs uniforms, from every single fanbase against whom we play. So, Shelby: go down to Reno, sort yourself out, mechanically, mentally or whatever, and let us not speak of you again until you return, at the level Arizona were expecting when they traded for you.

The Dodgers come to town, not apparently suffering too badly from the lack of Clayton Kershaw. They're 7-3 in July, since he went on the DL with a back issue, though there's no sign of him returning. They haven't been able to make up any ground on the Giants - indeed, they're half a game further back than they were - but it has helped them consolidate their possession of the first wild-card spot. The second is a real dog-fight: as we begin the second-half, just 1.5 games covers the Mets, Marlins, Cardinals and Pirates. Based on run differential, have to say the Cards (+89!) look the best so far. We'll see how things unfold.