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Preview #3: 7/26, Diamondbacks @ Padres

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Is it odd to be using the word “must-win” three games into the season?

Arizona Diamondbacks Summer Workouts Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS PADRES
Ketel Marte - 2B Fernando Tatis - SS
David Peralta - LF Trent Grisham - CF
Starling Marte - CF Manny Machado - 3B
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Tommy Pham - LF
Kole Calhoun - RF Eric Hosmer - 1B
Carson Kelly - C Wil Myers - RF
Jake Lamb - 1B Jurickson Profar - 2B
Kevin Cron - DH Austin Hedges - C
Nick Ahmed - SS Josh Naylor - DH
Zac Gallen - RHP Garrett Richards - RHP

Safe to say, this isn’t quite the start for which the Diamondbacks were looking. Two games into the season, they are one of only three winless teams in the majors, and have been outscored 3-12. Normally, this would be a matter of mild irritation, with another 160 games left in the season. But as we repeatedly were told before Opening Day, this year is a sprint, not a marathon. If that’s the case, the Diamondbacks have stumbled coming out of the starting blocks, and already find themselves looking at the backsides of the other runners. Or, alternatively, got the start time of the race wrong, and are just arriving at the stadium, kit-bag slung over their shoulders.

Zac Gallen will try to become the first Diamondbacks pitcher to get a win this afternoon. Or throw a quality start. Or, hey, I’d settle for not giving up three runs on a single swat. But I am probably more concerned about the offense, who seem to have been ill-equipped to deal with the Padres’ flame-throwers so far. And they face another one this afternoon in Garrett Richards. Last year, his average fastball was 95.1 mph, which is between Chris Paddack (93.9) and Dinelson Lamet (96.9). Compare the D-backs: their hardest-throwing starter in 2019 was Luke Weaver at 93.9 mph. Of course, velocity isn’t everything. But neither is it nothing...

Pre-game audio from Torey Lovullo

Replay from Last night: They have process to follow. Information wasn’t relayed to him within the time frame to make decision and request a review. But he still takes responsibility. “It could have been a game changer”

Sometimes he doesn’t wait for the video crew to advise him and makes the call to ask for the review. (He did so on Eduardo Escobar’s ball down the left field line last night). Last night Starling Marte looked out by 5 feet to him so he didn’t feel comfortable jumping on the decision and the 30 seconds ran out so he missed his chance.

Hitters Meetings and Preparation: They had large meeting in Grand Ballroom at hotel, (socially distanced) before series started and then get together in smaller groups of 3 or 4 at a time to go over the starting pitcher for that day. They may try to use the large ballroom to have larger meetings together. Still trying to feel things out as they go.

While he does have individual conversations with players, he usually works through the coaches as much as possible. He will let them know what he’s seeing and what he’d like to see change and then depends on them to deliver the message to the players.

He joked that his Mom texted him and said the guys are just too anxious and swinging at too many bad pitches. He agrees.

Ketel Marte’s knee is fine

Christian Walker is getting scheduled day off for a day game after a night game. Medical staff had worked this out with Torey prior to the series starting.

They are keeping Alex Young stretched out for now just in case one of the starters got banged up the first time though the rotation. He threw a five-inning simulated game on Wednesday and is still officially “unavailable”. They will keep him stretched out for at least 5-7 more days and then him transition to more of a bullpen role.

No testing or Injury updates. Discussed the Marlins situation where they lost several players all at once including today’s originally scheduled starter. The coaches and player leaders continue to remind players to be careful, and the players have not been resistant or frustrated by reminders.