|A.J. Pollock - CF||Jarrod Dyson - CF|
|David Freese - 1B||Tim Locastro - RF|
|Justin Turner - 3B||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Cody Bellinger - RF||Eduardo Escobar - 3B|
|Enrique Hernandez - LF||Jake Lamb - 1B|
|Chris Taylor - SS||Josh Rojas - LF|
|Jedd Gyorko - 2B||Nick Ahmed - SS|
|Russell Martin - C||Alex Avila - C|
|Ross Stripling - RHP||Alex Young - LHP|
The Diamondbacks go for a four-game sweep of the Dodgers this afternoon at Chase Field. That’s a sentence I didn’t think I’d be writing. The last time Arizona even had a CHANCE at sweeping a four-game series from Los Angeles, winning the first three, was more than seventeen years ago. On July 14, 2002, they played at Dodger Stadium, after having taken the previous contests by margins of 4-3, 3-2 and 7-5. But the offense was unable to get it done, scoring nothing in support of Miguel Batista’s seven innings, and lost 2-1. The only previous occasion I could was back in April 1999, and the D-backs came up short there too. So this is a chance to do something the team has never done.
At least the bullpen - responsible for that wheezing sound you are hearing, coming from downtown Phoenix - will have some reinforcements. The following have all been recalled from Reno: RHP Stefan Crichton, INF Kevin Cron, RHP Jon Duplantier, C Caleb Joseph, LHP Robby Scott and OF Abraham Almonte. I wouldn’t be surprised to see any or all of those relief arms in the game today, depending on the score. I imagine Archie Bradley is thoroughly and completely unavailable, and the same’s true for a lot of the A-bullpen. It’ll certainly be interesting to see what happens if the D-backs have to preserve a small lead in the later innings. I’d rather Arizona just blow LA out early!
They might have a shot. Ross Stripling will be making his first start off the injured list, not having started since July 24. But even before that, he hadn’t recorded an out past the fifth inning in any of his last eight starts. Between rejoining the rotation in late June and being hurt, he had a 4.67 ERA over six games, despite a rather good 28:3 K:BB ratio in 27 innings. He’ll probably be followed by Dustin May, in what’s looking likely to be a tandem start for LA. Meanwhile, Alex Young will be looking to build on a good start against the Brewers, where he allowed one earned run over 5.1 innings. But after the heart-stopping nature of the last two games, again, let’s just win from the get-go, rather than falling 3-0 down...