|COLORADO ROCKIES||ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS|
|Charlie Blackmon - CF||Daniel Descalso - LF|
|Raimel Tapia - RF||David Peralta - RF|
|Nolan Arenado - 3B||Paul Goldschmidt - 1B|
|Mark Reynolds - 1B||Jake Lamb - 3B|
|Trevor Story - SS||Chris Owings - SS|
|Alexi Amarista - 2B||Brandon Drury - 2B|
|Mike Tauchman - LF||Rey Fuentes - CF|
|Tony Wolters - C||Jeff Mathis - C|
|Tyler Chatwood - RHP||Zack Greinke - RHP|
The quest for 100 wins starts tonight at Chase Field, as the second half of the season gets under way. With 50 under our belt already, even if this team only plays .500 ball the rest of the way, that would take us to 90 wins. In the six seasons under which the two wild-card team system has been in effect, no National League team has missed the post-season while reaching as many victories. A couple of American League ones have - the 2012 Rays (90 wins) and the 2013 Rangers (91). But in the National League, the high-water mark for missing the playoffs under the current scheme, is actually only 86 games.
Of course, it would be better to win more than that, to be sure. But there's no doubt that even with the current three-game losing streak, the D-backs are in an extremely strong position. This is a team that has not yet lost more then three in a row this season, and the reason for the current run is fairly clear. Over those three losses, Arizona has managed a total of just TWO hits with runners in scoring position, batting a feeble .074 (2-for-27) in those situations. Our opponents, meanwhile, have been hitting over .310 (10-for-32). I do not expect either figure to sustain going forward in the longer term.
The team turns to Zack Greinke tonight to be the stopper. Zack has been on a relatively short leash, not having thrown more than 107 pitches in a game this year. Last time, his 101 pitches took him only through five innings, though the offense broke out early and he took the five and dive for the W, in a 6-1 victory. It's comforting that, over his last 10 starts since the end of April, the Diamondbacks are 8-2. But let's not panic. Even the 2016 Cubs, who went on to win the World Series, had a five-game losing streak. Winning would be better, but this team has shown its quality over the first 81 games: four losses in a row would not change that.