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Preview #22: 8/16, Diamondbacks vs. Padres

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A win would complete the sweep and get the D-backs back to .500.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Colorado Rockies Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

PADRES DIAMONDBACKS
Trent Grisham - CF Kole Calhoun - DH
Manny Machado - 3B Ketel Marte - 2B
Fernando Tatis - SS Starling Marte - CF
Eric Hosmer - 1B David Peralta - LF
Tommy Pham - DH Christian Walker - 1B
Jake Cronenworth - 2B Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Edward Olivares - RF Stephen Vogt - C
Austin Hedges - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Jorge Mateo - LF Jon Jay - RF
Garrett Richards - RHP Robbie Ray - LHP

The Diamondbacks have a chance to reach Mt. 500 this afternoon. It’d be the first time this season they’ve been there, a sharp turnaround after going 3-8 over the first eleven games. Since then. Arizona are 7-3, tied for the best record in the National League. While pitching has improved, I think it’s the return of the offense which has spurred the revival. Last night was the sixth consecutive game in which free tacos were delivered; that happened only once over those opening 11 contests. Since July 2012, there has only been one longer streak of games where the D-backs scored 5+ runs - in 2017, they went eight straight from August 27 through September 4.

The team may need to have their hitting shoes on to complete the sweep, with it being a Robbie Ray start. In four starts, he has a total of just 17 innings, allowing 20 earned runs over that time. It’s the home-runs which have been his kryptonite. Ray has given up seven of them to the 87 batters faced, responsible for 60% of the runs given up. I’m sure Ray isn’t a fan of the universal DH: they are 5-for-8 with three home-runs off Ray. Everyone else on the team has done much better. They have held opposing designated hitter to 8-for-71, and last night’s blast by Fernando Tatis Jr. was the first DH HR allowed by anyone except Ray. Hope he can keep it in the park today: I presume the roof will be staying firmly closed...

Pregame audio from Torey Lovullo

  • TL talked about how today is the 100 year anniversary of the Negro Leagues, calling it “a huge day” and saying what a special celebration it was
  • Robbie Ray: Looking for consistency, repeatability. Ray’s 49% 1st strike percentage was brought up. (lg. avg 60%) They’re philosophy is to try “to win the first three pitches”. Don’t want to just stop at strike one.
  • Jon Jay in the lineup: TL believes he’s a catalyst, sees a lot of pitches. Doesn’t want him to get too stale.
  • Archie: Predictability and fastballs in middle of zone were the issues last night that he discussed with the coaches. He is available today if there is a save opportunity. Archie has yet to work on back to back days. That is due to circumstance, not design.
  • Getting to .500: “It’s more acceptable (if they get to .500 today) but not even close to where we want to be”
  • Pitching Staff: “The season ebbs and flows every year, where the offense will carry, the pitching will carry. You just gotta have some sort of carry group that will help you win a baseball game... If I had to choose something I believe that pitching sets the tone for the game. It keeps things organized and when it’s not doing what it’s supposed to do it looks sloppy. It’s hard to work through those types of sloppy moments.”