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Preview, #154: 9/20 @ Padres

The final road series of the year gets under way in San Diego

MLB: Miami Marlins at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Tim Locastro - CF Greg Garcia - 2B
Josh Rojas - LF Nick Martini - LF
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Manny Machado - 3B
Christian Walker - 1B Eric Hosmer - 1B
Wilmer Flores - 2B Josh Naylor - RF
Adam Jones - RF Manuel Margot - CF
Nick Ahmed - SS Luis Urias - SS
Carson Kelly - C Luis Torrens - C
Merrill Kelly - RHP Eric Lauer - LHP

A busy night of scoreboard watching in prospect. Not particularly for the D-backs, whose chances of a post-season spot are basically zero, until proven otherwise. But the Cardinals already beat the Cubs, so it seems potentially likely they could be in position to clinch the NL Central during their series at Chase Field at the beginning of next week. St. Louis is 3.5 up on Milwaukee, pending the result of their game against Pittsburgh tonight. Both will have eight games left after tonight. With the Cubs melting, it’s looking likely to be the Nats and Brewers facing off in the wild-card: If so, Milwaukee will make the playoffs, despite a run differential currently of -21. Not sure if any teams since the 2007 D-backs have done that.

A couple of bits of interesting news on the D-backs. Luke Weaver will get the start tomorrow, though is only expected to go about 30 pitches or so. Zac Gallen’s turn in the rotation is going to be skipped due to innings concerns. It’s not clear what will happen next Wednesday, when it would be both of their final starts of the year. We also get Nick Ahmed back in the line-up, after a couple of days off with a finger issue. But it’ll be odd for the team to be playing down the stretch without their obvious MVP for this season, Ketel Marte. Nick Piecoro Tweeted that Marte has a stress reaction in his back, and won’t play again. The good news is, there’s no need for surgery, and he should be 100% for spring training.

It’s a season which deserves a considerably better epitaph than a paragraph buried at the bottom of a preview no-one ever reads. I’ll try and write something up on that tomorrow, time permitting [Mrs. SnakePit has to work, so I should have some free time]. But only two Diamondbacks’ position players have put up more fWAR than Marte’s 7.1 over the course of a season: Paul Goldschmidt had 7.2 fWAR in 2015, and Luis Gonzalez was worth 8.9 fWAR in 2001. Only one qualifying batter has had a higher average than the .329 mark with which Ketel finishes 2019 - again, that’s Gonzo, who batted .336 over the course of the 1999 campaign. It was truly an epic season for Marte, and I can only look forward to seeing him again in 2020.