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Diamondbacks Game Preview #142: 9/14 vs. Dodgers

Will we ever score a run again?

St. Louis Cardinals v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Chris Taylor - 2B Josh Rojas - 3B
Max Muncy - 3B Daulton Varsho - RF
Will Smith - DH Jake McCarthy - DH
Trayce Thompson - RF Christian Walker - 1B
Joey Gallo - LF Ketel Marte - 2B
Miguel Vargas - 1B Corbin Carroll - LF
Cody Bellinger - CF Alek Thomas - CF
Austin Barnes - C Cooper Hummel - C
Hanser Alberto - SS Geraldo Perdomo - SS
Michael Grove - RHP Zach Davies - RHP

Last night marked the tenth time in franchise history that the Diamondbacks have been shut out in consecutive games. You will likely not be surprised to learn that half of those times have been by the Dodgers. Though perhaps surprisingly, given their recent dominance in the NL West, it’s the first time they have double-bageled us since 2010. It’s the third time that a team has shutout the D-backs in the first two games of a series. However, the good news is that, on both occasions, Arizona won the series finale. It happened in July 2002, when the Dodgers took the first two games 0-4 and 0-8, before the D-backs won the third 5-3. And in 2012 in San Francisco, the Giants prevailed 0-2 and 0-1, before we beat them 3-1.

These last two games are likely not even the worst consecutive shutouts this season, not least because the Dodgers are - and you may want to sit down for this revelation - a pretty good team. Back on June 5th and 6th, the Diamondbacks were blanked by the not-exactly powerhouses of the Pirates and Reds, losing 0-3 and 0-7 respectively. Over those two games, they managed just six hits, all singles, and two walks, for an OPS of .259, They did then score eight runs in the next game. The bad news: Cincinnati scored 14. On the other hand, there’s nothing quite like watching a divisional rival celebrate clinching the title in your ballpark, to rub salt into being shutout.

Odds are against a third shutout, though both the Royals and Marlins managed it just last month. You have to go back to August 2017 to find a team shutout entirely across a three-game series. That was also the Royals, who were swept in Cleveland by scores of 0-4, 0-4 and 0-12. Making it worse, they lost their next game to the Rays 0-12. becoming the only team since 1992 to be shut out FOUR times in a row, being outscored 0-32. For Arizona, they have been held to one run over a three-game streak on three occasions. Two of them were this year: April 17-19 and June 4-6. The latter includes the PIT/CIN shutouts mentioned above, which were preceded by a 1-2 loss in Pittsburgh.

The only case of the D-backs scoring one run across a three-game set was against... yeah, you guessed it, these pesky Dodgers. Oddly, it took place late in a winning season, a September 2000 road-trip to Los Angeles. Greg Swindell allowed a walk-off home-run in the opening game, a 1-2 loss. Brian Anderson then tossed a complete-game loss the following day, a 0-1 defeat to Chan Ho Park. And what series of woe would be complete without a tough-luck loss for Randy Johnson? He pitched eight shutout innings in the finale, but got zero runs in support, and Byung-Hyun Kim surrendered a walk-off homer to the first post-RJ batter. The D-backs went 21 innings without scoring. We’ll see what tonight brings!