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Preview #124: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Minnesota Twins

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T.J. McFarland stands between the Diamondbacks and being swept.

Chicago Cubs v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS MINNESOTA TWINS
David Peralta - DH Brian Dozier - 2B
A.J. Pollock - CF Eddie Rosario - LF
Jake Lamb - 3B Byron Buxton - CF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Eduardo Escobar - DH
J.D. Martinez - RF Mitch Garver - 1B
Chris Iannetta - C Jorge Polanco - SS
Brandon Drury - 2B Max Kepler - RF
Gregor Blanco - LF Chris Gimenez - C
Adam Rosales - SS Ehire Adrianza - 3B
T.J. McFarland - LHP Bartolo Colon - RHP

Even though the D-backs haven’t been winning many games of late, they haven’t been getting swept. The last time that happened was the series in Atlanta immediately after the All-Star Break. Since then, not only have they not been swept, the only occasions they even entered the final game of a series with that as a possibility, was the two-game set just finished in Houston. This is the first time since Atlanta that Arizona have lost both the first two contests in the series. But since the Twins have now scored the last fifteen runs during this set, you’ll understand if I’m not feeling incredibly confident this morning.

It seems a bit of an odd move by the D-backs: they have indeed called up Braden Shipley, so I’m a little surprised he isn’t getting the start. I imagine it will be a tandem outing, with T.J. McFarland and Shipley each going for as long as Torey Lovullo feels comfortable. There will be another fresh arm, as both J.J. Hoover (no surprise there after he went long relief last night) and Silvino Bracho were send back to Reno. No word at time of writing on who will be coming up. But said time of writing is actually Saturday night, since Mrs. SnakePit and I will be bowling on Sunday morning, with edbigghead and Turambar, at an event held by the Phoenix Shanti Group.

I can’t say I feel particularly bad about missing this game. The D-backs’ still very much control their own destiny. But after a good showing against Houston, the past couple of games have seen them utterly outclassed in all aspects of the game. Of course, these kind of games happen to every time. But the Diamondbacks do seem to be having rather too many of them lately: five of their last six losses have now been by margins of five runs or more. They only had five such blowout losses in the entire first half of the season, so that’s definitely cause for concern. Hopefully, McFarland can succeed, where Zack Greinke and Taijuan Walker could not.

[Morning update] Looks like the Jimmie Sherfy era has begun...