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Preview, #23: 4/25 @ Phillies

This is the first of two attempts the D-backs will have to win eight series in a row.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

David Peralta - LF Cesar Hernandez - 2B
Ketel Marte - SS Carlos Santana - 1B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Odubel Herrera - CF
A.J. Pollock - CF Rhys Hoskins - LF
Daniel Descalso - 3B Aaron Altherr - RF
Chris Owings - 2B Andrew Knapp - C
Jarrod Dyson - RF Maikel Franco - 3B
Jeff Mathis - C J.P. Crawford - SS
Zack Greinke - RHP Jake Arrieta - RHP

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, if the D-backs win today or tomorrow, they would become the first NL team to win their first eight series in over 40 years. The last to do so were the 1977 Dodgers. They started the year off by going 22-4, won the National League West with 101 wins, and lost in the World Series to the Yankees. The last team in the majors to win their first eight series were the 2001 Mariners. You probably remember them. :) They actually won their first nine series, going 22-6, ended the season with 116 wins, tied for the most ever in major-league history - but lost (again to the Yankees) in the ALCS. So, if we win tonight... I guess we’ll be losing to the Yankees!

Should be an interesting pitching match-up today, with Zack Greinke facing Jake Arrieta, the latter being one of those names I always have to look up the spelling. One R or two? One T or two? Regardless, he has been the ace the Phillies thought they’d get when they signed him to a three-year, $75 million contract. There were some eyebrows raised at that being handed out by a team who lost 96 games last year, their fifth losing season in a row. But so far, this seems like a very different franchise, one who fully deserve that 14-8 record based on their run differential. Whether they’ll be able to sustain the good start, is a different matter, of course.

Both Greinke and Arrietta posted their best starts of the season six days ago. Zack held San Francisco to three hits and one run over seven innings, despite only two strikeouts. But Jake was better still, allowing only one hit in his seven innings of work against the Pirates, with ten K’s. I think this afternoon could be a tougher test than last night for Arizona: good job we don’t have “six guaranteed outs” in the line-up tonight, eh? :) [RIP Bartman’sGoat - #MurderedByWords] A win would also tie our season-high winning streak at a modest four games, which is kinda low for the team with the best record in the league! Eight other MLB teams have had longer streaks this year: the Astros and Red Sox two such.