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Diamondbacks Game Preview #111: 8/11 vs. Pirates

Back down we go!

Today's Lineups

Ben Gamel - DH Alek Thomas - CF
Bryan Reynolds - CF Emmanuel Rivera - 3B
Ke'Bryan Hayes - 3B Josh Rojas - DH
Oneil Cruz - SS Christian Walker - 1B
Bligh Madris - RF Daulton Varsho - RF
Tucupita Marcano - 2B Carson Kelly - C
Greg Allen - LF Jordan Luplow - LF
Jose Godoy - C Sergio Alcantara - 2B
Josh VanMeter - 1B Geraldo Perdomo - SS
JT Brubaker - RHP Merrill Kelly - RHP

Oh, well. It was nice while it lasted. The D-backs failed in their fifth consecutive attempt to match the season high winning streak of four games. I got quite excited in the ninth, when they loaded the bases with no outs, to bring the tying run to the plate. But then it all fell apart, with what I'd have to call one of the most bizarre plays in franchise history. It was complete rubbish all round, requiring incompetence from both teams and the officials, in order to achieve the final level of head-shaking weirdness. The old adage about there always being a chance of seeing something at a game you've never seen before, certainly came true there. Just not in a GOOD way. Won’t see it on any end-of-season highlights, I imagine...

This afternoon, Merrill Kelly seeks to extend his streak of seven starts without defeat. He’s 4-0 over that time, and deserved even better than that, with a 1.77 ERA across those three no-decisions (4 ER in 20.1 IP), all of which were quality starts. Though it’s not even the longest lossless streak currently active on the team, with Zac Gallen being unbeaten over his last ten outings. [Zac had a 12-game streak not long before that, and has just two defeats over 24 starts dating back to September 19] The all-time record holder there, incidentally, is probably not someone you’d expect. Answer at the bottom.

The fact that every one of those Kelly appearances was a quality start is a little more notable, especially in this era where, as noted yesterday, they only happen in slightly more than one-third of starts (36%). There hasn’t been a longer streak than seven for over three years, since Zack Greinke produced 11 quality starts in a row, during April and May 2019. The franchise mark belongs to Curt Schilling, who had 16 in a row during 2002. Though the more striking streak is probably Randy Johnson’s 14-game streak in 1999. Six of those were complete games, but the Big Unit still had a losing record over that time, going 5-6. That included four in a row which finished 0-1, 0-2, 0-1, 0-2, as Randy went 25 days with a single run in support!

The all-time franchise unbeaten start streak belongs to... Brian Anderson, who was 10-0 over 19 starts in a row, from July 1999 through the following June. The big three’s longest streaks without an L were 14 games for Brandon Webb, 13 for Randy Johnson, and only 10 for Curt Schilling