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Preview, #45: 5/19 @ Mets

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This has been Arizona’s longest stay in first place for several years.

Milwaukee Brewers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS NEW YORK METS
David Peralta - LF Brandon Nimmo - LF
Nick Ahmed - SS Asdrubal Cabrera - 2B
Chris Owings - RF Wilmer Flores - 1B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Jay Bruce - RF
Ketel Marte - 2B Devin Mesoraco - C
Deven Marrero - 3B Michael Conforto - CF
Jarrod Dyson - CF Jose Reyes - 3B
John Ryan Murphy - C Steven Matz - LHP
Patrick Corbin - LHP Amed Rosario - SS

After beating the Dodgers on the first day of May, the Diamondbacks improved their record to 21-8 and had a six-game lead over the rest of the NL West. Since then, at the risk of stating the obvious, things have not gone quite as well. Indeed, Arizona’s record of 4-11 since then is the worst in the National League, and as a result the lead has been all but frittered away. At the start of play today, it had become just one-half of a game over the Rockies, so if they win and we lost, the Diamondbacks would be out of the lead in the NL West for the first time since Opening Day [they were tied for the first series of 2018, and have had sole possession of first every day since the end of games on April 1]

That’s already something of an achievement. The 51 days, including off days, in first so far easily surpassed the total from 2014 through 2017 combined. You have to go back to 2013, when the Diamondbacks had a total of 81 days in first, to find a season where we led the division for any longer. But just like 2013, there is no trophy or post-season spot awarded for the number of days you spend on top of the pile. All that matters is whether you are there at the end of the regular season. If that’s to be the case, the Diamondbacks, and in particular, their offense, are going to have to start playing a good deal better (although at the time of writing, the Rockies are losing; if it holds, this would guarantee us first for another day).

The team turns to their ace, Patrick Corbin, though even he has been a source of worry, showing some decreased velocity. The team is aware of it, says something similar happened last year, and has been taking steps to address the drop - there was a small uptick in Corbin’s fastball speed the last time he started, which is hopefully a sign for optimism. No Steven Souza: while his pesky pectoral muscle is still a source of concern, the team is hopeful he can avoid a DL stint, though expect some more off-days for him in the near future. Let’s just hope the weather in New York co-operates. There has been a lot of rain earlier on, but the indications appear to be this one should get played, albeit a bit moistly.