|Jean Segura - 2B||Trea Turner - CF|
|Jake Lamb - 3B||Jayson Werth - LF|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Anthony Rendon - 3B|
|Welington Castillo - C||Wilson Ramos - C|
|Brandon Drury - LF||Stephen Drew - 2B|
|Yasmany Tomas - RF||Ryan Zimmerman - 1B|
|Chris Owings - SS||Brian Goodwin - RF|
|Mitch Haniger - CF||Danny Espinosa - SS|
|Archie Bradley - RHP||Tanner Roark - RHP|
If there's hope for Arizona, it's perhaps seen in the Nationals. They are a franchise which lost over 100 games in back to back seasons in 2008-09, part of a sequence of seven straight years without a winning record, after moving to the nation's capital in 2005. But the St. Louis Cardinals are the only team with more wins in the majors than Washington, since the start of the 2012 season, the Nationals having gone 454-349 over that time [For comparison, the D-backs are equal 24th in the same period, at 369-434]. They have already clinched their third NL East title in five years, although their last post-season series win is still 1981, as the Expos. Hopefully that'll change when they face the Dodgers next month.
This series presents a very different situation from the one in Baltimore, where the Orioles were highly motivated to win every game. With not very much left to be decided - only the question of whether Washington or Los Angeles have home-field advantage in the NLDS - it's hard to say how much effort the Nationals will be putting into this series. Though getting to play at home is hardly negligible, they'll certainly be keen to avoid any injuries which could impact their playoff chances. On the other hand, the Diamondbacks will also need to hit a good deal better, having tied a franchise record yesterday, with their ninth consecutive road game being held to three runs or less.
Yeah, remember when we used to be good on the road? Happy times. Since the beginning of the trip to Boston, the Diamondbacks have gone 5-16 away from Chase, including losses in eight of the last nine, the exception being the 3-2 squeaker over the Padres. It has very definitely been the offense responsible: outside of the series in Colorado, Arizona hasn't scored more than four runs away from home in well over a month (August 18, when they lost 8-9 in San Diego). We need to win two of the final seven games to pass the 1998 and 2010 in the all-time standings, so let's see if the team can manage that,at the very least.