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Preview #100: 7/22: Diamondbacks vs Rockies

Zack Greinke seeks to be the team’s stopper and block the Rockies’ sweep.

San Diego Padres v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Charlie Blackmon - CF David Peralta - LF
Gerardo Parra - LF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Nolan Arenado - 3B A.J. Pollock - CF
Carlos Gonzalez - RF Steven Souza - RF
Trevor Story - SS Jake Lamb - 3B
Ian Desmond - 1B Daniel Descalso - 2B
Garrett Hampson - 2B Nick Ahmed - SS
Tom Murphy - C Jeff Mathis - C
Antonio Senzatela - RHP Zack Greinke - RHP

The two losses in this series have each been by one-run margins, and it’s easy to see how each of them could have gone the other way, purely on the home-run front. Friday’s game swung on a home-run from a man who had hit precisely two over the first hundred-plus games in the majors. Then Saturday’s margin was a home-run by a 27-year-old rookie, the first for that player since 2016 and only his second career long-ball coming off the bench. These things will happen, unfortunately. That they happened in the first two games after the All-Star break was particularly unfortunate and annoying, as was the double-helping of loss-flavored tacos, the first time this year in consecutive games.

At least I’m fairly confident there won’t be those again. The D-backs haven’t had three consecutive losses scoring five or more runs since 2010, when they dropped three straight to the Cubs at Wrigley by margins of 5-11, 5-7 and 5-10. The 15 runs tallied so far is also the most in consecutive losses for Arizona since April 2005, when they lost 7-8 and 10-12 to the Dodgers. I’m hoping it’s time for the breaks to go the other way, and for the D-backs to be the beneficiaries of some kind fortune. But it’d help if the bullpen were to play their part: over the last 24 games, Arizona relievers have only two wins, both belonging to Randall Delgado, compared to five losses.

After an excellent 2.85 ERA in the first half, the bullpen had a 9.39 ERA so far in the second. Obviously, VERY small sample size there - 7.2 innings - but probably the most worrying thing is that our relievers have walked more than they’ve struck out. And indeed, have walked more than a batter per inning, with eight bases on balls compared to just seven strikeouts. That’s not exactly a recipe for success, and I don’t quite know why it seems to have been such of a problem over these last two games. It’d be nice if Zack Greinke went deep into this one, and the offense did their part to give the bullpen a lead even they are able to protect, allowing us to end the series as we started it, in second place.