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Preview #8: 7/31, Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers

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Will the D-backs do something to rekindle fan interest?

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DODGERS DIAMONDBACKS
Max Muncy - DH Ketel Marte - SS
Mookie Betts - RF Kole Calhoun - RF
Cody Bellinger - CF Starling Marte - CF
Justin Turner - 3B Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Corey Seager - SS Christian Walker - DH
Chris Taylor - 2B David Peralta - LF
Joc Pederson - LF Stephen Vogt - C
Edwin Rios - 1B Jake Lamb - 1B
Austin Barnes - C Ildemaro Vargas - 2B
Tony Gonsolin - RHP Zac Gallen - RHP

Last night’s contest was almost a master-class in extinguishing desire to watch the game. Before Arizona even came to bat, they were three runs behind, with the mirage of Robbie Ray’s pre-season performances little more than a memory. Even though the Win Probability in the middle of the first inning was still 27.2% - so defeat was by no means a certainty - I still opted to cut my losses. We watched Mothra instead. Yes, seeing a 59-year-old Japanese movie for the Nth time, proved a more enticing prospect than the Diamondbacks’ game last night. Checking the recap at the end of the night suggested that it was probably a wise decision, even as Arizona matched Los Angeles 3-3 over the remaining eight innings.

Does that make me a bad fan? I previously discussed how I wasn’t really missing baseball in its pandemic-enforced absence. The first week of the season has really done very little to re-kindle that love. I’ve watched the Diamondbacks basically phoning it in on both ends of the game - admittedly, with some exceptions, such as Ketel Marte and Merrill Kelly. But in general, they look like a team who are waiting for the season to be canceled out from beneath them. And if the outbreak around the league spreads much further than it has already, they may end up getting their wish. Already, MLB are down to playing 7-inning double-headers to try and catch up with the backlog.

Seeing Jake Lamb’s name in the line-up once again doesn’t exactly help matters. Admittedly, we are still only seven games in, and as Jack has mentioned, the D-backs have come back from similar poor starts to reach the post-season [even posting playoff worthy records under the current set-up, over the first 60 games]. But I think that, for now, I’ll continue to occupy myself elsewhere, until the D-backs have shown themselves as being deserving of more than passing attention. A win tonight might not be enough, in and of itself, but it might be a start, or at least a move in the right direction.

Torey Lovullo’s pre-game comments

  • No further testing updates. He continues to remind the players to social distance, wear masks, and contactless high fives.
  • Players have been responsible. No Marlins-like situations
  • Regarding Rob Manfreds communication to Tony Clark, Lovullo would hate to lose the season after all the hard work and sacrifices the team has made.
  • Ahmed is fine physically, just a “reset button” day.
  • He has some tough decisions to make and we may see this trend continue with other players as well