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Preview, #53: 5/28 vs. Reds

If we can’t with these next two series...

Arizona Diamondbacks  v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Jose Peraza - SS Jarrod Dyson - CF
Tucker Barnhart - C Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Joey Votto - 1B Jake Lamb - 3B
Scooter Gennett - 2B Daniel Descalso - 2B
Eugenio Suarez - 3B John Ryan Murphy - C
Scott Schebler - RF Chris Owings - RF
Adam Duvall - LF Socrates Brito - LF
Homer Bailey - RHP Nick Ahmed - SS
Billy Hamilton - CF Matt Koch - RHP

No more excuses. No more “tipping of the cap”. For the next six games, we are facing bad teams, with home advantage. If there’s something the D-backs still have done well this year, it’s beating up on bad teams: their record against opponents who have losing records is a best in the West 14-7. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that these same Reds and Marlins recently took six out of seven against the Dodgers. They remain major-league outfits, with a roster comprised of major-league players, and the Diamondbacks should treat these games as if they were the World Series. And they might as well be, because if Arizona don’t post a winning record over these next six games, the season might effectively be over.

Of course, that’s a tad hyperbolic - we’ll barely be at the one-third stage, and will still be around the .500 mark, and also relatively close to the top of the remarkably mediocre NL West. But you don’t reach the playoffs by failing to beat a pair of teams who have a combined record to this point of 38-68, and are on pace for 105- (Reds) and 103-loss (Marlins) seasons. After a wretched road-trip where the Diamondbacks won only a single game - and that, by a single run - you could not have asked for the schedulers to gift you a kinder, gentler home-stand than this one.

We see Paul Goldschmidt again hitting in the #2 spot, which is interesting... According to the book, “the #2 hitter should be better than the #3 guy, and one of the best three hitters overall. And since he bats with the bases empty more often than the hitters behind him, he should be a high-OBP player.” Sounds like what Goldschmidt used to be. Though his current .323 OBP is still better than league-average (.316), it’s a far cry from the hair under .400 it was through the end of last season. His walk-rate really hasn’t dropped much, and the difference is entirely due to him never being IBB’d (he has ONE this year!). But his BA is 90 points below his career norm. Fix that, fix Goldschmidt, fix the series and fix the season.