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Diamondbacks Game Preview #99: 7/29 @ Braves

It has been the team’s best week in over three years: will it continue into Atlanta?

Washington Nationals v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Rebecca Noble/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS BRAVES
Josh Rojas - 3B Ronald Acuna - RF
Alek Thomas - CF Dansby Swanson - SS
Ketel Marte - 2B Austin Riley - 3B
Christian Walker - 1B Travis d'Arnaud - C
David Peralta - LF Matt Olson - 1B
Daulton Varsho - RF Marcell Ozuna - DH
Jake McCarthy - DH Eddie Rosario - LF
Carson Kelly - C Orlando Arcia - 2B
Geraldo Perdomo - SS Michael Harris - CF
M. Bumgarner - LHP Kyle Wright - RHP

Roster moves

As already discussed by Michael, the Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Recalled INF Yonny Hernandez (No. 19) from Triple-A Reno.
  • Placed LHP Tyler Gilbert on the 15-day injured list (sprained left elbow), retro to July 27.

Well, that’s a bit awkward. Might help explain why Gilbert’s outing on Tuesday seemed short, curtailed after only 71 pitches and four innings, when he wasn’t pitching particularly badly (two runs on four hits and a walk). With the off-day yesterday, the team doesn’t need a fifth starter until Tuesday, so it makes sense to use the spot for another player. Interesting for them to go with Hernandez though, considering he didn’t exactly set the world on fire in his previous two stints. He went 2-for-24 with no extra-base hits for an OPS across a dozen games of .237. At least the bar is low for expectations this time. We’ll see who takes his spot when we need a 5th starter. Could be the Tommy Henry era beginning?

It’s likely no stretch to say the past sweep of the Giants was likely the best all-round series of baseball the Diamondbacks have managed this season. It’s only the second time all year they’ve swept a set longer than two games, and the previous occasion (against the Marlins in Miami, from May 2-4), all three victories were of the one-run kind. Outscoring your opponent 18-15, is less impressive than the 19-6 pounding just inflicted on the Giants, and San Francisco are likely also a better team [five games better than Miami, by Pythagorean standings]. So they arrive in Atlanta, tied with the Mets and Athletics for the longest active winning streak in the majors.

Indeed, since Arizona have outscored their opponents 39-13 since the break. it’s arguably their best spell in several years. It’s the biggest run differential over any six game span since April 21-26th, 2019, when they were 39-12. Their largest differential between then and now is +22, most recently over the last six games of the abbreviated 2020 schedule. So their best week in a while, all aspects clicking on both sides of the ball. It gives the D-backs a chance to win four in a row, something also not done since that Marlins sweep, and the first game after it against the Rockies. It won’t be easy though. Over the past 30 games, the Braves are the second-best team in the National League, their 19-11 trailing only the Dodgers (23-7).