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Diamondbacks Game Preview #43: 5/22 @ Cubs

Can the D-backs finish off a four-game road sweep, to counter the one inflicted on them?

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Two Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS CUBS
Daulton Varsho - C Rafael Ortega - CF
Jordan Luplow - LF Jonathan Villar - 2B
Ketel Marte - 2B Seiya Suzuki - RF
Christian Walker - DH Ian Happ - LF
Pavin Smith - 1B Patrick Wisdom - 3B
Jake McCarthy - RF Frank Schwindel - DH
Alek Thomas - CF Alfonso Rivas - 1B
Geraldo Perdomo - SS Andrelton Simmons - SS
Drew Ellis - 3B P.J. Higgins - C
Merrill Kelly - RHP Wade Miley - LHP

Roster moves

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Recalled INF Drew Ellis (No. 15) from Triple-A Reno.
  • Optioned INF Yonny Hernandez to Triple-A Reno.

It feels like it has to be quite rare to follow up a four-game set on the road where you were swept, with another four-game set where you do the sweeping. But that's what the Diamondbacks have a chance to do today. Part of the rarity is that it's very rare to have back-to-back four gamers, of any kind. This is partly for scheduling reasons. Unless there is (as in Los Angeles) a double-header, you need eight days, bleeding over into the following week. Having the sets run Thu-Sun, and then Mon-Thu, would seem the only credible way to fit it in. This is what happened the last time the D-backs had consecutive four-game series, in September 2018. They faced Atlanta at Chase then traveled to Colorado for four against the Rockies. I don't think this was the result of a previous Coors rain-out, but amn't 100%.

But neither of those sets even got close to a sweep, the first two games in each being split. Though oddly, they did both have exactly the same pattern for Arizona: LWLL. The last time Arizona had consecutive road four-game series was earlier in the same 2018 campaign, doing so in Pittsburgh and Miami. There, they almost managed arguably a more remarkable feat, sweeping the Pirates and winning three of four against the Marlins. Only a solitary 5-9 loss prevented an eight-game double sweep of quadruple series on the road. You will not be surprised to learn that Shelby Miller took the L for Arizona in that contest.

At the other end, the Diamondbacks almost were on the receiving end in Miami and Washington in August 2014, dropping seven of eight across consecutive series. A 3-2 victory over the Marlins was all that prevented the double sweep. In that game, all the runs scored in first. However, it was a weird road-trip overall, also including a one-day double-header stop in Cleveland, after the first game on the tour got rained out. Five of the ten games resulted in walk-off losses, and eight were decided by one run, including five in a row. [The record there for Arizona is seven, from May 30-June 6, 2010] It seems these kinds of series bring out the strangeness, as we say on Friday. What will today offer?