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Diamondbacks Game Preview #151: 9/22 @ Dodgers

Quite surprised to be here, if I’m honest

Milwaukee Brewers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Ketel Marte - 2B Trea Turner - SS
Stone Garrett - LF Freddie Freeman - 1B
Emmanuel Rivera - 1B Will Smith - C
Christian Walker - DH Max Muncy - 3B
Carson Kelly - C Justin Turner - DH
Jordan Luplow - RF Joey Gallo - RF
Sergio Alcantara - 3B Gavin Lux - 2B
Daulton Varsho - CF Trayce Thompson - LF
Geraldo Perdomo - SS Cody Bellinger - CF
Zac Gallen - RHP Julio Urias - LHP

Can’t complain about the D-backs resilience. After the first game in the double-header on Tuesday, I imagine most of us were contemplating a five-game sweep - and not of the good kind. After all, the D-backs had been shut down in the first game, and then blown a significant lead in the eighth inning, to lose the second in annoying, almost soul-crushing fashion. I would not have been surprised, had the team decided to phone in the balance of the series. After all, we’re 150 games into a long season, with nothing much to play for. They were going up against a juggernaut of an opponent, in a venue that has been an almost ceaseless pit of despair lately.

And, yet - here we are, with our ace on the mound and a shot at winning the series. Arizona won consecutive games in Dodger Stadium for the first time in almost five seasons The last time was back at the very start of the 2018 campaign, on April 13 and 14, when they won 8-7 and 9-1, Ketel Marte is the only D-back on the current roster who will remember that (the currently injured Nick Ahmed was also part of the team). Arizona couldn’t complete the sweep, losing 2-7 in the finale, and that’s when it started. Over the 35 games in LA between then and the day game, Arizona were 5-30, and three of those victories required extra innings. Yesterday’s was the first by more than three runs in 36 attempts.

Now, make no mistake, the D-backs had help. In the double-header nightcap, for example, the Dodgers made four errors and were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. You do not expect that on a regular basis from a 100+ win team. But as Yogi Berra once said, “Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical.” If you go into a game expecting to lose, guess what? You probably will. The past two contests have shown that the D-backs can, on the day, hang with the Dodgers. 5-13 may not seem like a great record, but it’s an improvement om the previous two seasons. Winning the final series of the year would be something nice to take into the off-season, and build on for 2023.