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Preview #51: 9/17 @ Angels

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The D-backs have a chance at a “sweep”. Kids! Ask you parents!

Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS ANGELS
Daulton Varsho - CF David Fletcher - 2B
Josh VanMeter - 2B Jared Walsh - 1B
Christian Walker - DH Mike Trout - CF
Kole Calhoun - RF Anthony Rendon - 3B
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Albert Pujols - DH
David Peralta - LF Justin Upton - LF
Nick Ahmed - SS Taylor Ward - RF
Pavin Smith - 1B Anthony Bemboom - C
Carson Kelly - C Andrelton Simmons - SS
Alex Young - LHP Griffin Canning - RHP

Games until the blessed end of the season: 10

This series has been the first time the D-backs have scored nine runs in consecutive games all year. Indeed, it’s the first time they’ve scored more than seven, back-to-back, since August 12-13 last year - at those contests were in Coors Field, so deserve an asterisk. It’s been necessary, because the pitching hasn’t been at its best, allowing a total of 14 runs over the two games. Indeed, it’s the first time the D-backs have won consecutive games while allowing 6+ runs, for almost three years. The last time they did so was September 20-22, 2017, when they won 13-7 in San Diego, then flew across the continent to win another slug-fest in Miami, by the even more outrageous score of 13-11.

It’s probably not what I’d call a recipe for sustained success, however. The entire pitching staff now has an ERA of 5.09, which is tied with the 2016 D-backs for the highest in franchise history. The figure for Arizona’s rotation is higher still, at 5.27, all by itself as the worst figure in team history. Even the dreaded 2004 team, which included the likes of Casey Fossum, Steve Sparks and Casey Daigle, only posted a starting pitcher ERA of 5.15. Zac Gallen is the only current member of the rotation with an ERA below 4.50 in that role - and he seems to be making strenuous efforts to join the rest of his colleagues. Chalk up just one more thing for Mike Hazen to fix this winter...

Pre-game audio from Torey Lovullo

  • Ketel Marte: To 40-50 swings yesterday combination of tee and soft toss. Will take 50 to 60. Still no word what day will be activated.
  • Taylor Widener: through 31 pitch sim game yesterday, came out of it fine. Will continue to throw long toss. No activation date given.
  • Most difficult part of getting through season: Getting used to the “new normal” and the adjustments that have had to be made to routines, information gathering, have all been disrupted. They’re used to it now, but it’s taken a bit of time. Large group post game reviews have had to be limited and that’s been one of the hardest things to deal with.
  • On seeing some other mid-market teams (Miami, Buffalo, San Diego, Cleveland, etc) in playoff positions and D-backs outside looking in: “Quite frankly I’m obviously a little bit jealous of us not being one of them... We all knew the ground rules, we all knew that it was 60 games and it was going to be a sprint. Maybe some teams got used to that a little bit quicker than others. I’m not going to use that as an excuse for why wer’re not doing well. I just know that it’s given an opportunity in this short look for some teams to get hot and remain hot and have the opportunity to make the post season”
  • Long discussion between Torey and Nick Piecoro about whether Torey put too much pressure on the players to get off to a good start. Definitely some areas that he feels could have been done differently. Live and learn.
  • Daulton Varsho leading off to get him additional at bats today. Don’t read into the fact that he’s getting more reps in outfield compared to catcher at this point.