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Diamondbacks Game Preview #114: 8/14 @ Rockies

The Diamondbacks try to win their third series in a row.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Josh Rojas - 2B Connor Joe - LF
Emmanuel Rivera - 3B Randal Grichuk - RF
Ketel Marte - DH Brendan Rodgers - 2B
Christian Walker - 1B C.J. Cron - DH
Daulton Varsho - RF Elehuris Montero - 1B
Alek Thomas - CF Ryan McMahon - 3B
Cooper Hummel - C Garrett Hampson - SS
Jake McCarthy - LF Wynton Bernard - CF
Geraldo Perdomo - SS Brian Serven - C
Tommy Henry - LHP Ryan Feltner - RHP

Since the final game before the All-Star break, Arizona have a 13-9 record. It's the same mark as the Braves, for example. They did have a hotter spell at the start of the season, going 15-7 from April 20th through May 13th. But that's the only time since the end of the 2019 campaign that Arizona have gone better than 13-9 over any 22-game span. The last time the Diamondbacks won three series in a row was May 2-11, when they beat the Marlins home and away sandwiched around victory over these same Rockies. A win would even the season series against Colorado at 8-8, with one set to play (back in Coors, September 9-11).

It would also give the D-backs their 53rd victory of the season, surpassing the tally of all last year, with 48 games left to go. I think a 20-win improvement over the season would be not a bad target. The last time the D-backs were down in this range, after winning 51 in 2004, they improved 26 games the following season. That might be a bit of a stretch goal, but Arizona are playing well of late, as noted above. However, those wins are mostly against sub-.500 teams, and the schedule turns significantly tougher in September. Of the team's final 39 games, 30 are against teams in or currently fighting for (no more than two games back) a playoff spot.

Looking at that optimistically, it means there will be plenty of chances for the team to play a spoiler. I'd certainly not mind the chance to knock the Padres, whom we see seven times in September, out of the playoffs. It'll also test September call-ups like (probably) Corbin Carroll against the best MLB has to offer. Just bear this in mind, should they struggle out of the gate. If I may be forgiven a mixed metaphor, they'd be being thrown in at the deep end, to a trial by fire. Regardless, I doubt the D-backs will win Comeback Team of the Year. That's pretty much owned by the Orioles. Tied in misery with us on the same 52-110 record in 2021, they are already 21 wins up on where they were at this point, and one back of an AL wild-card spot.