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Diamondbacks Game Preview #79: 7/3 @ Rockies

Zac Gallen seeks to secure the series, and Dallas Keuchel enters the D-backs record books. Just not in a good way...

San Diego Padres v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Josh Rojas - 3B Connor Joe - LF
Alek Thomas - CF Yonathan Daza - CF
David Peralta - LF Charlie Blackmon - RF
Christian Walker - 1B C.J. Cron - DH
Daulton Varsho - RF Brendan Rodgers - 2B
Buddy Kennedy - 2B Ryan McMahon - 3B
Cooper Hummel - DH Jose Iglesias - SS
Geraldo Perdomo - SS Elias Diaz - C
Jose Herrera - C Elehuris Montero - 1B
Zac Gallen - RHP Chad Kuhl - RHP

Dallas Keuchel’s second start as a Diamondback was about what we feared might happen, after we realized it would be in Coors Field. Though he got through five innings, he allowed seven runs (one unearned) on six hits and three walks, raising his season ERA above eight. At 8.27, it’s the highest in the majors for anyone with 40+ innings, by close to a run. Purely as a Diamondback, Keuchel’s ERA is 9.64. Among all pitchers to have started for Arizona, that’s the highest ERA here among those with more than a single start, beating out Jason Marquis’s 9.53 over three starts in 2011. Raise the bar to five, and the “leader” is Joel Adamson’s 8.22 in 1998. Raise it to 10... or 15, 20 or 25, and - no surprise - it’s Russ Ortiz’s 7.00 over 28 starts.

Yet what also stands out is Keuchel’s fielding-independent ERA as a D-back, which is all the way down at 4.30. That’s the lowest among the 26 pitchers with an ERA above six for Arizona in two or more starts. All told this year, Keuchel’s FIP is more than two and a half runs better than his ERA, which is easily the biggest gap among the 153 pitchers in the majors with 40+ innings (only one other, Cleveland’s Aaron Civale, is even at two). Last night is a good example: if Christian Walker’s throw hadn’t tagged Kris Bryant, Keuchel is likely out of the inning with a zero, rather than a four-spot. Five innings of three-run ball in Coors Field is almost in the “Well done” category of performances.

It does seem likely Keuchel will keep getting rolled out there, simply because the team does not appear to have many other options. Tommy Henry may well join the rotation next week, but no-one else with more than three starts for Reno has an ERA below six. We’ll see whether he can do better than Keuchel. If so, that’ll push Dallas back down to being on the bubble for a rotation spot. I’ve not heard much about when Zach Davies might be able to return from his IL stint due to shoulder inflammation. That kind of thing could be just a case of needing rest, or it could be a symptom of something more major. The team has been rather quiet, which feels a bit concerning. Something to keep an eye on going forward.