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Preview, #156: 9/22 @ Padres

The last road game of the 2019 campaign. Arizona has done pretty well there.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Arizona Diamondbacks Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Abraham Almonte - CF Manuel Margot - CF
Josh Rojas - LF Nick Martini - LF
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Wil Myers - 1B
Christian Walker - 1B Hunter Renfroe - RF
Wilmer Flores - 2B Ty France - 2B
Adam Jones - RF Luis Urias - SS
Nick Ahmed - SS Austin Hedges - C
Carson Kelly - C Seth Mejias-Brean - 3B
Robbie Ray - LHP Garrett Richards - RHP

Yesterday’s victory clinched a winning record for the Diamondbacks away from Arizona this season. With this afternoon’s game in San Diego to play, they are at 41-39 on the road. It will actually be the third consecutive season the D-backs have done this, having gone 41-40 and 42-39 in 2017 and 2018 respectively. In the Mike Hazen era, Arizona’s road ERA has been 3.88, which is the second-best in the National League, only fractionally behind the Dodgers’ 3.85. Not bad going by the NL West, considering both teams have Coors Field in their division, and Petco isn’t nearly as pitcher-friendly as it used to be, earlier in the 2010’s.

What’s odd is, through 2017, a winning road record was a pretty good indication Arizona was going to the playoffs. They did so in six seasons, and in all but one (2005, squeaking over the line at 41-40), they reached the post-season (1999, 2001, 2002, 2011 and 2017). However, as we known, they stayed home in October both in 2018 and 2019, largely due to their poor play at home. Last year, they had a lower winning percentage at Chase, and that could happen again this year. If the D-backs win this afternoon, to end with a 42-39 road record, they’d need to go 4-2 over their final homestand against the Cardinals and Marlins to surpass that mark at home in 2019. That’s not a given.

Today’s starter Robbie Ray is, however, not much of a road warrior. He is 6-6 with a 4.38 ERA away from home, compared to 6-2 and 3.93 at Chase. He took the loss in his previous start at Petco, largely because of control issues - he held the Padres to two hits over 5.1 innings, but Robbie walked five. That was back in April, in Ray’s second start of the season, and he has improved a bit since then. Robbie had a great month just after the All-Star break where he walked just four over five starts and 29.1 innings, while striking out 41. But he walked four in his last outing, giving him 19 over his last 29 innings. Despite our hopes to the contrary, it may be, that is simply who Robbie is.