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Preview, #144: 9/9 @ Mets

Just got to beat the reigning Cy Young champ, Merrill. No pressure.

San Diego Padres v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Ketel Marte - CF Jeff McNeil - 3B
Josh Rojas - LF Pete Alonso - 1B
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Michael Conforto - RF
Christian Walker - 1B Wilson Ramos - C
Wilmer Flores - 2B Robinson Cano - 2B
Carson Kelly - C J.D. Davis - LF
Nick Ahmed - SS Brandon Nimmo - CF
Jarrod Dyson - RF Amed Rosario - SS
Merrill Kelly - RHP Jacob deGrom - RHP

A real test of the D-backs’ credentials as they face a four-game series against the Mets. A split of these contests would work better for Arizona than New York, considering that we are on the road are also closer to the Cubs in the standings. All told, if we can leave the Big Apple no further back than the current 112 games, I’ll be content with that, considering we then get nine games against the Reds, Marlins and Padres in which to make up ground. That’s the big picture here, and looking at the match-ups, this is probably the contest in which I have lowest expectations. So defeat here would not necessarily be the end of the world - and a win would be amazing.

On the plus side, at least I won’t have to hear “WhY CaNt wE HiT ScRuB pItChErS?” tonight, since we’re going up against the reigning National Leage Cy Young champion in Jacob deGrom. It’s weird to think that his current 2.76 ERA represents a down year for deGrom, being more than a run higher than his figure from 2018. His success still is not reflected in his W-L record, currently sitting at 8-8. Startling to realize that, over sixty starts since the beginning of last year, deGrom has a 2.18 ERA... and an 18-17 record, getting the W a mere 30% of the time he has taken the mound. There are 52 pitchers with more wins than him - including the currently unemployed Zack Godley and his 5.16 ERA, plus Mike Leake too.

Elsewhere, the Cubs are taking on the Padres in San Diego, though that one won’t be under way until this one is well into the later stages. The Braves are in Philadelphia, and the Brewers visit the Marlins, in the other games with potential wild-card implications for the National League today. It’s kinda fun to be in the middle of September and still heavily engaged in scoreboard watching. A win tonight would also bring us level with the 2018 Diamondbacks, who were 76-68 at the same point in the schedule. Considering that put Arizona 3.5 games back of any post-season spot (the ROCKIES were leading the division!), you can argue this year, we are getting more of a contender.