|SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS||ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS|
|Gorkys Hernandez - CF||David Peralta - LF|
|Kelby Tomlinson - SS||Rey Fuentes - CF|
|Hunter Pence - RF||Jake Lamb - 3B|
|Buster Posey - 1B||Paul Goldschmidt - 1B|
|Nick Hundley - C||J.D. Martinez - RF|
|Pablo Sandoval - 3B||Daniel Descalso - 2B|
|Jarrett Parker - LF||Adam Rosales - SS|
|Joe Panik - 2B||Chris Herrmann - C|
|Chris Stratton - RHP||Patrick Corbin - LHP|
[And social media explodes, at a starting line-up which includes Fuentes, Herrmann and Rosales on the same day...]
It’s startling to realize, the last time the Diamondbacks entered the final game of any series with the possibility of a sweep still intact, was all the way back on June 18. It was the finale in Philadelphia against the Phillies, and Arizona duly completed the sweep, though it took them 10 innings to beat the home team, 5-4. Since then, the D-backs have gone 23-30, and have not succeeded in stringing more than three victories in a row over that time. But this afternoon gives them another shot, and they have Patrick Corbin on the mound, who has been almost untouchable over his last trio of outings. Corbin is 3-0 with an 0.39 ERA and a K:BB of 21:4 over 23.1 innings.
But it really isn’t just a good two weeks. Since his season ERA reached its worst point, at 5.43 on June 2, Corbin has made 14 starts, with his ERA in those barely above three (3.05), despite a relatively high BABIP of .339. He has struck out 92 in 85.2 innings, with four strikeouts for every walk, and if there’s another outing this afternoon like he has delivered of late, his ERA will have a shot at ending the day, starting with a 3. [Two earned runs over eight innings would do the trick] The D-backs’ record in those games is only 7-7. However, that’s more a result of run support: in all but one of those losses, they were held to four runs or fewer.
This has been an issue for the team of late. They have passed five runs only once in the last fourteen contests, averaging 3.1 per game and batting an anemic .220 over that time. That their record is also 7-7, is a tribute to the solid starting pitching they have been getting in that time, but the D-backs also haven’t had a blowout win (5+ margin) this month, the last such being on July 29, when they beat the Cardinals 7-1. Considering they had 22 over the first four months of the season, that’s quite a drought. The streak of 26 consecutive games without a blowout win, is now tied for 12th in team history, though a LONG way behind the record (55, set in 2004-05).
Be nice if the streak ended this afternoon, setting us for the arrival of the Dodgers tomorrow.