|SAN DIEGO PADRES||ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS|
|Manuel Margot - CF||Jarrod Dyson - LF|
|Wil Myers - RF||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Christian Villanueva - 3B||Paul Goldschmidt - 1B|
|Eric Hosmer - 1B||A.J. Pollock - CF|
|Jose Pirela - 2B||Chris Owings - RF|
|Freddy Galvis - SS||Nick Ahmed - SS|
|Matt Szczur - LF||Deven Marrero - 3B|
|Austin Hedges - C||Jeff Mathis - C|
|Joey Lucchesi - LHP||Patrick Corbin - LHP|
20 games into the season, and the D-backs still haven’t had any kind of losing streak. That feels kinda rare, so I dug back into the previous schedules to see what was the furthest the team had managed to go previously, without suffering consecutive defeats. Even though they had a good start last year, it only took until Game 11, when they lost the opener in LA, after dropping the series finale in SF. But that’s still the only previous time even double digits have been recorded. The 1999 team, who won a hundred games, started 0-4, and the 2008 team who had possibly the best start in franchise history, going 20-8 before melting down, dropped their second and third games.
I think this is testament to a couple of things: the depth of our rotation, and the ability of the team to let the losses go. With five decent starters, there’s not the same pressure to win and be the “stopper”, something which was the situation in the early 2000’s, when our rotation was Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and mumble something mumble, where we’d hope to win one of the three. Last night would be a good example of the latter: after being almost no-hit the previous day, the defense melting in the ninth, and then falling behind in the first inning last night, it would have been easy to give up (like certain fans did...). But that didn’t happen; they fought back, and another losing streak failed to happen.
A win here would also give the team its seventh straight series victory to open the season. You have to go back fifteen years to find the last National League side to carry out that feat, the 2003 Giants. They began the year 13-1 and 18-4, before eventually dropping a series, in Philadelpha - which is where the D-backs will be going next. Ominous? We’ll see. But even they didn’t get through 20 games without consecutive defeats, being beaten in #18-19. For what it’s worth, those Giants went on to win the NL West that year with 100 wins, although they went out immediately in the playoffs, losing to the wild-card Marlins in four games. Let’s see if Patrick Corbin had make the 2018 D-backs match them today.