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Preview #47: 9/12, Diamondbacks vs. Mariners

What is this thing called “a winning streak”?

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Today's Lineups

MARINERS DIAMONDBACKS
Dylan Moore - 2B Tim Locastro - CF
Ty France - DH Nick Ahmed - SS
Kyle Lewis - CF Christian Walker - 1B
Kyle Seager - 3B Eduardo Escobar - DH
Jose Marmolejos - LF David Peralta - LF
Evan White - 1B Wyatt Mathisen - 3B
Luis Torrens - C Josh VanMeter - 2B
Donovan Walton - SS Carson Kelly - C
Phillip Ervin - RF Pavin Smith - RF
Justus Sheffield - LHP Zac Gallen - RHP

Yes, the Diamondbacks have won consecutive games, for the first time since that six-game run they reeled off from August 19-24. How long ago that seems. At the end of it, the D-backs had the fifth-best record in the National League, and looked set reasonably fair to make it into the post-season. Now? Not so much. I didn’t see anything of either victory, having been engaged in movie-watching instead: a South African werewolf film on Thursday, and last night, Korean zombie film #Alive, about which I’ll have more to say on Monday. Normally, I would maintain this separation, since it’s clearly having a positive impact on the team. Except, I’m recapping this one, so I guess I SHOULD watch it...

It is a Zac Gallen start though, and those have tended to be one of the few bright spots in this campaign. I clearly jinxed him last time out, by looking at the odds of him going unbeaten on the season: he promptly took his first L. He wasn’t the only one, as we also lost Zack Greinke, Shane Bieber and Adam Wainwright from that list. We are now down to four qualified pitchers who still have 0 losses: Johnnie Cueto, Max Fried, Zack Wheeler, and a new arrival in Corbin Burnes of the Brewers, who has posted a 1.23 ERA since moving back into the rotation, striking out 40 over 29.1 innings. But I’m hopeful Gallen can start a new streak of holding the opposition to three earned runs or less tonight.

Pre-game audio from Torey Lovullo

  • Nick Ahmed throwing issues lately: “Nothing is going on” injury wise. Lengthy comments about alignment, footwork, balance, etc., but no speculation about shoulder or other areas.
  • Inconsistent Defense in General: “Defensive Runs Saved is a huge statistic for us, we certainly believe in that. I’ve told you guys at my core that’s who I am, I believe in the art of pitching and defense……………its been a point of concern for me…… as we just got done talking about one player, he’s not the only one , there have been several miscues by very good defenders all over the diamond:”
  • He went on to talk about what he expects from the players and how they need to practice. He said the felt the shortened summer camp impacted their ability to fine tune their defensive approach.
  • Pavin Smith in Right Field: He’s never personally seen him play in RF yet, but player development staff have given him positive feedback about his ability to play all three outfield positions. He mentioned centerfield again.
  • Stefan Chricton: Torey will not nominate him as closer. He will take matchup approach. The role is wide open.
  • Carson Kelly catching Zac Gallen: They’ve built a non-verbal understanding and great trust. He does not want to get in the way of that by fiddling with the catcher pitcher pairing.
  • Bullpen: They are rested and caught up thanks to Alex Young’s performance last night and Riley Smith’s on Thursday.