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Preview, #135: 8/31 @ Dodgers

We’re 1-0 when I have a pic of an 80’s band on the preview. I’m not stopping now. #MissingPersons

iHeart80s Party - Show Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Today's Lineups

Steven Souza - RF Joc Pederson - LF
A.J. Pollock - CF Justin Turner - 3B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Manny Machado - SS
David Peralta - LF Cody Bellinger - CF
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Yasmani Grandal - C
Nick Ahmed - SS Max Muncy - 1B
Ketel Marte - 2B Brian Dozier - 2B
Jeff Mathis - C Yasiel Puig - RF
Zack Greinke - RHP Hyun-Jin Ryu - LHP

I think we can safely say that last night went as well as possible for the Diamondbacks. There still wasn’t much evidence of clutch: Arizona were 2-for-10, and one of those hits didn’t even score a run. They’re now 5-for-31 on the road-trip there, so I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for some regression there. But David Peralta delivered the game’s biggest blow, and the team’s #5 starter, by both ERA and FIP this year, got a W, Throw in the Rockies being walked off after a marathon in San Diego, and we couldn’t have drawn it up better. A repeat of both results this evening would be perfectly fine. As last night, there are four potential outcomes, in descending order of desirability for the D-backs:

  • 212 games up on the Rockies and 3 on the Dodgers [we win, COL lose]
  • 112 game up on the Rockies, 3 on the Dodgers [we win, COL wins]
  • 1 up on the Dodgers, 112 games up on the Rockies [we lose, COL lose]
  • 12 game up on the Rockies, 1 up on the Dodgers [we lose, COL wins]

The significance of last night’s win should become clear: it means that the D-backs cannot lose sol possession of first-place tonight, regardless of what happens. Coming it, we wanted to win at least two games, and the victory yesterday makes that part considerably easier: we now only need to win one of three to accomplish that. With Zack Greinke going tonight, I’m hopeful we can get that out of the way, and then everything over the weekend thereafter becomes gravy. Over his last four starts against the Dodgers, Zack is 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA and a K:BB of 29:5 in 25.1 innings, and has a 2.30 ERA over his last seven outings overall, so should keep the team in it.

Hyun-Jin Ryu had to work through a lot of traffic his last time up, allowing eleven hits and a walk over 5.1 innings against the Padres, but limited the damage to one earned run. He has made three starts since coming back off the DL, after a groin strain sustained during a game against the D-backs on May 2. He is 1-1 with a 2.30 ERA in those, with a very good 18:2 K:BB ratio over 15.2 innings, though hasn’t even reached ninety pitches in any of those. The Dodgers should probably have new arrival Ryan Madson in their bullpen, having acquired the reliever from the Nationals. Hopefully, his arrival in LA will go every bit as well as Kenley Jansen’s return from the DL.