|ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS||LOS ANGELES DODGERS|
|David Peralta - LF||Chris Taylor - CF|
|Kris Negron - SS||Enrique Hernandez - LF|
|A.J. Pollock - CF||Justin Turner - 3B|
|J.D. Martinez - RF||Cody Bellinger - 1B|
|Brandon Drury - 2B||Austin Barnes - C|
|Jake Lamb - 3B||Yasiel Puig - RF|
|Adam Rosales - 1B||Logan Forsythe - 2B|
|Chris Herrmann - C||Charlie Culberson - SS|
|Robbie Ray - LHP||Rich Hill - LHP|
So, no Goldschmidt in the line-up, with Adam Rosales joining Kris Negron on the list of Starting D-backs First Basemen we will all forget about when the Sporcle about it comes out over the winter. On the plus side, it means we have a tailor-made excuse if the Dodgers win tonight: after all, “You didn’t face Kershaw, Darvish and Wood” was apparently the explanation for why Los Angeles got swept in Arizona. [Never mind that Darvish and Wood both got beaten by the Padres over the weekend.] So, “You didn’t face Goldschmidt” seems a legitimate reason if the win streak ends at 10. Though the team did still win without Paul yesterday.
On the plus side, we have Robbie Ray on the mound, and his return to the rotation has been thoroughly satisfactory. Each of his starts since coming off the concussion DL have resulted in only one earned run, so it really seems like there will be no lasting effect, psychological or otherwise. With 19 strikeouts over 11.2 innings of work - a K-rate above 40% of all batters Ray has faced - his stuff seems as good as ever. Indeed, it’s possible the rest and recuperation may end up being a good thing, if we end up having to ride Ray’s arm deep into October. Those four starts he missed are quite a few bullets saved, which can be used in the playoffs.
Brewers have already lost today, so the wild-card lead is up to 7.5 games as we head into play here. However, Colorado walked off San Francisco, courtesy of a typically #LOLGiants ninth inning, including three walks, one of which was a walk-off one to Carlos Gonzalez, he of the 66 OPS+. Still, the defeat of Milwaukee reduces our magic number by one, and I think it’s probably about time we started monitoring that in these previews. So, here we go. Each win by Arizona or loss by the first non wild-card team (currently the Brewers) will reduce it by one. When it hits zero, a playoff spot is assured.