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Preview #58: 6/3 vs. Marlins

The D-backs are back in first place. Can they complete the sweep and hold on to top spot?

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Starlin Castro - 2B Daniel Descalso - 2B
J.T. Realmuto - C Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Justin Bour - 1B Jake Lamb - 3B
Brian Anderson - 3B John Ryan Murphy - C
Derek Dietrich - LF David Peralta - LF
Cameron Maybin - RF Chris Owings - RF
Miguel Rojas - SS Nick Ahmed - SS
Lewis Brinson - CF Jarrod Dyson - CF
Dan Straily - RHP Matt Koch - RHP

We lost Cox cable and Internet last night. It’s never until you lose something you take for granted that you discover how reliant you are on it. No TV, no streaming video, no Fox Sports Go, because watching it on your phone is like seeing the game through a flip-book. We were thrown back onto primitive technology for entertainment, actually watching something called a “DVD” [kids, ask your parents!]. Well, once we were able to locate the remote control, anyway. Though unskippable warnings about piracy being bad, etc. on an item we paid for, reminded us of why we appreciate Netflix, Hulu, etc. Anyway, normal service is back this morning... And, hey, so are the D-backs, back on top of the West.

There were quite a few people who seemed to reckon that, once the division lead was lost on May 21, that would be it. #SeasonOver. But here we are, and the D-backs have returned to first place. They haven’t re-taken the division lead after May since August 2011, on their way to the NL West title: hopefully that’s an omen. But the NL West is remarkably close, with only 5.5 games separating first and last. That’s less than half the margin of the next tightest division (the AL Central, at 12 games) and is the most-bunched the division has been at this stage since June 2006. On the same date that season, 4.5 games covered top to bottom, with everyone being at or above .500.

Interesting line-up today. Facing a right-handed pitcher, Paul Goldschmidt (who has certainly been far better of late) moves back to the #2 spot with John Ryan Murphy hitting clean-up. Daniel Descalso bats lead-off, with David Peralta hitting fifth; the outfield sees right-handed Chris Owings preferred over Socrates Brito. But then, Brito has managed only two hits, with no extra-base hits and no walks, since being promoted to replace A.J. Pollock, so it’s not as if his .236 OPS is demanding additional playing time. Be nice to get both Pollock and Souza back - with the obvious caveat that they should bothy be fully fit. Don’t want another case of the evaporating Souzas.