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Diamondbacks Game Preview #38: 5/17 @ Dodgers

Let’s play two!

MLB: Miami Marlins at Arizona Diamondbacks Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Cooper Hummel - LF Mookie Betts - RF
Jordan Luplow - RF Freddie Freeman - 1B
Ketel Marte - 2B Trea Turner - SS
Christian Walker - 1B Edwin Rios - DH
Josh Rojas - 3B Chris Taylor - LF
Pavin Smith - DH Max Muncy - 3B
Geraldo Perdomo - SS Cody Bellinger - CF
Alek Thomas - CF Austin Barnes - C
Jose Herrera - C Gavin Lux - 2B
Merrill Kelly - RHP Tyler Anderson - LHP

This afternoon’s loss against the Dodgers dropped the Diamondbacks back below .500, for the first time in a couple of weeks. On May 3, they were in the process of sweeping the Miami Marlins in Florida, a series which would take them from a 10-13 record up to an even mark. But they have now tied their season high with four losses in a row, and with another two games here in Los Angeles, on the road against the team who possess the best winning percentage in the National League, it could get bumpier before it gets better. In the team’s defense, they haven’t been thoroughly outplayed. Over the four-game losing streak, their total run differential is just -5. with the last three losses being of the one-run variety.

It’s the first time since August 2020 that the team has lost three straight games by the narrowest of margins. When it happened last time, it was at Chase Field against the Colorado Rockies, with the D-backs being swept by scores of 2-3, 4-5, and 7-8. Odds are the streak won’t go further. There have been sixteen times in franchise history that Arizona has lost three games by one run in a row. But only four times has the streak gone any further, the most recent of those being just over eleven years ago, when the Diamondbacks dropped no less than FIVE consecutive games, on a road trip through San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles in May 2011.

That streak was mostly on the offense, who managed a total of just 11 runs over that span (conceding 16, if you hadn’t figured it out!). They did face some good pitchers, including three who’d finish in the top eight of NL Cy Young voting that year: winner Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum (back before Goldy broke him into a million pieces) and Matt Cain. This series was supposed to have been similarly pitching-heavy, a battle between the two starting rotations with the lowest ERAs in the National League. Hasn’t quite worked out that way, with all four starters so far seeing their figure increase, and a collective ERA of 6.10. We’ll see if Merrill Kelly (top) can stop that, and prevent the losing streak reaching a season high.