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Diamondbacks Game Preview #103: 8/2 @ Guardians

Welcome to the D-backs, Emmanuel Rivera. Take a seat on this bench. :)

Kansas City Royals v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Josh Rojas - 3B Steven Kwan - LF
Alek Thomas - CF Amed Rosario - SS
Ketel Marte - 2B Jose Ramirez - 3B
Christian Walker - 1B Josh Naylor - DH
Daulton Varsho - RF Owen Miller - 1B
Jake McCarthy - LF Andres Gimenez - 2B
Seth Beer - DH Oscar Gonzalez - RF
Carson Kelly - C Luke Maile - C
Sergio Alcantara - SS Myles Straw - CF
Zac Gallen - RHP Triston McKenzie - RHP

Roster moves

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • INF Emmanuel Rivera (No. 15) reported to the team and will be active for tonight’s game.
  • Optioned INF Buddy Kennedy to Triple-A Reno and will remain on the Taxi Squad.

With the trade deadline having passed at the point this gets posted, I’m sure close to no-one will be reading this. Whether that’s because the D-backs made a significant move, or if we’re just pressing our noses up against the glass at Petco Park, where they are bringing in Juan Soto, Brandon Drury and, probably, the resurrected corpse of Ted Williams. Meanwhile, we will have to make do with a slightly-used infielder, and like it, dammit. But while we’re here, let’s take a look at last night, where Mark Melancon became the first pitcher in team history to reach double-digits in relief losses for a season. And he did it with 60 games left, too! Well done! That’s all I got...

Of course, actually, I have about two paragraphs more. Even these days, ten relief losses in a season is not impossible. Melancon is the fourth pitcher in the past decade to have accomplished that exact feat. Oddly, three of the relievers with 10 losses have an Arizona connection in some way: as well as Melancon, the others are Sam Dyson (Giants/Rangers, 2017), Brad Boxberger (Rays, 2015) and J.J. Hoover (Reds, 2014). But as you push past 10, the numbers decline. Only a pair since 2005 have had 11 relief losses, and just one over that time reached 12: that being Raul Iglesias of the 2019 Angels. All eight pitchers with 13 or more losses did so in the seventies, up to Gene Garber’s 16 for the 1979 Braves.

More interesting is when you ask about relief losses to this point in a season. Six in total reached double-digits in bullpen L’s by Game #102. But Melancon is the first to do so for over forty years, since Jim Kern of the 1980 Rangers. He reached relief loss #10 in his 89th game, but that’s where he finished, as he appeared only five more times. Two players had 11 to this point. Rollie Fingers for the 1978 Padres reached there in Game #96, and had two more the rest of the way to end with 13 L’s. The following season, Garber lost his 11th in Game #95, and as mentioned above, ended with 16. Whether Melancon will reach those heights largely depends on whether Torey keeps rolling him out there in close games.