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Preview #86: 7/3 vs. Cardinals

The D-backs have lost six in a row at Chase Field. Let’s avoid seven, shall we?

San Franciso Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Matt Carpenter - 1B Jon Jay - RF
Tommy Pham - CF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Jose Martinez - RF Jake Lamb - 3B
Marcell Ozuna - LF A.J. Pollock - CF
Yadier Molina - C David Peralta - LF
Jedd Gyorko - 3B Ketel Marte - 2B
Yairo Munoz - SS Nick Ahmed - SS
Kolten Wong - 2B Jeff Mathis - C
Jack Flaherty - RHP Zack Greinke - RHP

Usually, the rule of thumb I go by is, win at least three of five at home and half the games on the road. That’ll get you to 89 wins or better, which should be in the playoffs or thereabout. After the six-game losing streak at Chase, the D-backs are no longer doing the first half of that equation, their record having dropped from 23-14 to 23-20 as a result. That’s now actually worse than they’ve done on the road, where they are a game and a half better, at 24-18. It’s far from the longest streak in team history: they dropped 11 in a row in 2004. But here’s a sobering factoid. The team has never lost six consecutive home games and made the playoffs that season.

The 11 such streaks for the Diamondbacks have come in 2004 (three of them!), 2005, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 (twice) and now 2018. The most recent batch has come about largely through offensive futility, and in particular a lack of plate discipline and power. Over the last six home games, the team has batted .243, which isn’t too bad. But they have only fifteen walks (compared to 50 strikeouts), and have only one home-run at Chase Fied since Daniel Descalso in the fifth inning against the Mets on June 15. There have been 215 at-bats for the Diamondbacks since, and the only player to leave the yard was Paul Goldschmidt in the seventh inning on Sunday against the Giants (above).

As a result, the team has managed to score only 14 runs over those six games, though the struggles of Shelby Miller, Zack Godley and Robbie Ray certainly contributed over the last three games. That trio resulting in the following combined line:
Shelack MilRay: 14 IP, 27 H, 19 R, 19 ER, 6 BB, 18 SO, 12.21 ERA
Almost regardless of offensive performance, that puts the team behind the eight-ball before they come to the plate. Here’s to MUCH better this evening from Zack Greinke: as noted previously, he can join a very elite NL group if he can post a third consecutive start allowing no walks or earned runs. Like, Kershaw and Maddux, since the D-backs came into existence.