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Diamondbacks Gameday Thread, #33: 5/6 vs. Nationals

Serpientes ahoy!

Today's Lineups

Lane Thomas - RF Ketel Marte - 2B
Luis Garcia - 2B Emmanuel Rivera - 3B
Joey Meneses - DH Lourdes Gurriel - LF
Keibert Ruiz - C Christian Walker - 1B
Stone Garrett - LF Evan Longoria - DH
Dominic Smith - 1B Dominic Fletcher - RF
Victor Robles - CF Nick Ahmed - SS
Michael Chavis - 3B Gabriel Moreno - C
Ildemaro Vargas - SS Alek Thomas - CF
MacKenzie Gore - LHP Tommy Henry - LHP

It feels like last night’s win was almost essential, with Merrill Kelly definitely the most stable starting pitcher of the series for Arizona. Tonight is Tommy Henry (ERA 6.52), and tomorrow is Ryne Nelson (ERA 6.39), so realistically I’m hoping the D-backs can split those two games, and win the series. The odd thing is, despite the gulf in ERA between Zac Gallen/Kelly and the rest of the rotation, the D-backs have managed to survive the back end of their starters better than you’d perhaps expect. They’re 9-5 in Kelly/Gallen starts, but are 9-9 in everyone else’s, and that includes 1-3 by MadBum. We’re 4-1 in Henry/Jameson outings, mostly because the offense has averaged 7.2 runs per game and gone 5-for-5 in tacos.

It helps that the D-backs are 11-0 when scoring six or more runs. Obviously, scoring more runs helps, but you’d expect by now to have at least one loss in those games. Outside of Arizona, Atlanta and Detroit are the only other teams with perfect records when scoring six or more runs. The A’s already have half a dozen such losses. The D-backs are 2-3 when scoring exactly five runs and are 5-11 when failing to provide free tacos (between 4-6 pm, at participating restaurants, etc.). That includes three wins where they scored two runs, but we are still waiting a 1-0 victory. Arizona hasn’t had one of those since the last game of the 2019 season, when Tim Locastro walked off the Padres with an RBI single.

That was the D-backs second 1-0 victory of that month, the previous one having come two weeks earlier on September 14, when Kelly got the win with seven scoreless innings, and Jarrod Dyson drove in the only run with a sacrifice fly. How easy it all seemed at the time... But every other team in the majors save Arizona, has had at least one 1-0 win since the end of 2019 - the Rays have had no fewer than six of them. The D-backs’ best year was 2007 when they scored the only run of the game on three occasions. In two of those, a solo (obviously!) home-run was the difference maker in the contest. I’m sure another will show up eventually. If it’s this evening, I think I need to go buy a lottery ticket!