|ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS||COLORADO ROCKIES|
|David Peralta - LF||Charlie Blackmon - CF|
|Chris Iannetta - C||DJ LeMahieu - 2B|
|A.J. Pollock - CF||Nolan Arenado - 3B|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Mark Reynolds - 1B|
|J.D. Martinez - RF||Ian Desmond - LF|
|Brandon Drury - 2B||Carlos Gonzalez - RF|
|Jake Lamb - 3B||Jonathan Lucroy - C|
|Adam Rosales - SS||Trevor Story - SS|
|Taijuan Walker - RHP||Kyle Freeland - LHP|
Victory tonight would give the Diamondbacks their first eight-game winning streak in almost exactly six years. The last of that length came from August 23-31, 2011, and involved the team actually winning nine in a row. It would be a good omen if we can stretch it that far: seven of the nine times Arizona has had a streak of 8 or more wins in a row, were in seasons they made the playoffs. The exceptions? An eight-game streak early in April 2008 (you may remember the fast start that season, which basically evaporated as soon as May showed up), and oddly, the team’s record streak, of 12 wins, in June 2003.
What was striking about that streak was the squeakiness of it. By which I mean, nine of the 12 victories in it were by two runs or fewer, with the last pair requiring extra innings to extend the run. It was also a massive aberration: the rest of the season, the Diamondbacks never managed to win more than four in a row, ending up at a record of 84-78. Only two National League teams have even matched Arizona’s dozen wins in a row since: the 2004 Astros did so (on their way to 92 wins) and the 2013 Braves managed to win 14 in a row, as part of their 96-win campaign. [I’d somehow forgotten Atlanta was pretty damn good, as recently as four years ago]
Tonight, we turn to Taijuan Walker to keep up the streak of solid starting pitching, which has been key for the team during the current streak. The starter has got the W every game, and have fully deserved it, with their combined line over those seven games as follows:
D-backs starters: 43.2 IP, 32 H, 11 R, 10 ER, 9 BB, 45 K, 2.06 ERA
Walker has faced the Rockies three times this year. He’s 1-1, but pitched well, allowing five earned runs over 18.2 innings, for a 2.41 ERA against them. Both decisions came in outings at Coors Field, where he gave up 4 ER in 11.2 IP. Last time was his first recording an out in the seventh inning since July 2, so hopefully he can build on that.