|Marcus Semien - 2B||Corbin Carroll - RF|
|Corey Seager - SS||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Evan Carter - LF||Gabriel Moreno - C|
|Mitch Garver - DH||Christian Walker - 1B|
|Josh Jung - 3B||Tommy Pham - DH|
|Nathaniel Lowe - 1B||Lourdes Gurriel - LF|
|Jonah Heim - C||Alek Thomas - CF|
|Leody Taveras - CF||Evan Longoria - 3B|
|Travis Jankowski - RF||Geraldo Perdomo - SS|
|Nathan Eovaldi - RHP||Zac Gallen - RHP|
“Being in the position to be aggressive at the deadline to buy, and play meaningful baseball games in September. That's what I would constitute to be a successful season this year."
-- Mike Hazen, February 20th.
Here we are, now in November, and the Diamondbacks are playing meaningful baseball, well after 28 of the other 29 clubs have packed up their lockers and gone home. There can be no question it has surpassed all expectations, regardless of last night or tonight. Of course, we still don’t want it to end, and I expect the D-backs will be similarly inclined. Still, no harm in breaking out every last edge we can, which is why we have St. Penelope in the line-up tonight. No clue if she’ll work - while great at ending no-hitters, she is entirely untested in this scenario. But I’ll tell you this: if the D-backs win, and move the series back to Arlington, you can guarantee who’ll be hitting lead-off in the Game 6 GDT!
The D-backs find themselves starting into the abyss, not for the first time in this post-season. They won twice in Philadelphia, when defeat would have ended their year, so Arizona have been here before. They have absolutely to focus purely on winning, so a strong performance from Zac Gallen, and riding the momentum of the later innings last night will be important. I certainly hope they manage to deliver a win: Arizona fans have waited 22 years to see their team in the World Series, and to go 0-3 in the home games would be disappointing. Though I am kinda glad I didn’t spent big on tickets, given the generally underwhelming nature of the two games. That’s baseball though.
Hopes and expectations, shamelessly recycled from the NLCS
Don’t get swept
- Force the series back to Texas
- Complete the come-back
Not easy, to be quite clear. But not impossible either. In best of seven series, the team who have gone 3-1 down, has only gone on to win 14 of 92 times. That’s 15.2%. But the D-backs have overcome worse odds than that already this season, just to reach the post-season. On August 11th, Fangraphs put their chance of simply making the playoffs at 13.4%. Arizona beat those. Indeed, on that day, the Diamondbacks were given just one chance in 125 (0.8%) of winning the National League pennant. But here we are, flag in hand. Compared to those feeble odds, 15.2% feels almost like a certainty... They’ve already won five in a row this post-season too. Three is entirely doable. But let’s start with one, and go from there.