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Preview, #123: 8/16 vs. Giants

The D-backs have been remarkably consistent of late. Not good. Not bad. Just... consistent.

FRANCE-JUSTICE-FEATURE Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Mike Yastrzemski - RF Ketel Marte - CF
Buster Posey - C David Peralta - LF
Alex Dickerson - LF Eduardo Escobar - 2B
Evan Longoria - 3B Christian Walker - 1B
Scooter Gennett - 2B Jake Lamb - 3B
Kevin Pillar - CF Josh Rojas - RF
Brandon Belt - 1B Nick Ahmed - SS
Brandon Crawford - SS Carson Kelly - C
Jeff Samardzija - RHP Mike Leake - RHP

The Diamondbacks have spent the entire season around the .500 mark. They’ve never been higher than seven games above; nor have they ever been lower than three games below it. The chart below plots their progress (or lack thereof) across the course of the season to date:

Here’s how that eleven-game spread (I’m including zero, in case you were wondering!) between high- and low-water marks compares to the last few seasons:

  • 2019: 11 game spread
  • 2018: 16
  • 2017: 26
  • 2016: 29

It is not the narrowest spread of results across the season. In 2015, the team bounced around between one game over and eight games below, a ten-game spread which is one smaller than this year so far. The 2013 and 2012 D-backs, who each finished 81-81, also matched this year’s spread at 11 games (+9 to -1, and +4 to -6 respectively).

However, it has been a particularly narrow band of results lately. The team has had just a five-game spread, always within two games of .500, since being 38-35, after a loss in Washington on June 16. Regardless of what happens tonight, the streak will reach 50 consecutive games within two of an even record. I have no way of checking this, but it’s an impressive if not unprecedented feat. During this run, the Diamondbacks have been at -2 three times, and won each game. More impressively - though sadly - they have sat at +2 on no fewer than SIX occasions, and are 0-6 in chances to go to +3. Well done, I guess...

Torey Lovullo’s media briefing

An obviously tired and haggard Torey Lovullo at today’s pre game press conference.

  • Taylor Clarke is in the clubhouse but will not be active for tonight’s game. He will get the start tomorrow. He last pitched on August 10th, going 3 innings for Reno, and throwing 56 pitches. He didn’t allow a run, but walked 4. In his previous MLB start August 4th against the Nationals he went 5.2 IP, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits, 1 walk, and 2 HR. Clarke has allowed 15 HR in 63 MLB innings this year and carries a 5.46 ERA
  • They are looking to give an extra day rest to Merrill Kelly and Zac Gallen, and they will push them back to Sunday and Monday respectively
  • Torey was asked if Taijuan Walker has been shut down, but he denied that.
  • Luke Weaver threw a 35 pitch bullpen today, all fastballs.
  • Mike Leake: Had more conversation with him this week about attack plans, and gave more input during his bullpen session this week.