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Diamondbacks Gameday Thread, #152: 9/19 vs. Giants

What do the D-backs need to do down the stretch?

The Ettin’s Meal Photo by Pierce Archive LLC/Buyenlarge via Getty Images

Today's Lineups

LaMonte Wade - 1B Corbin Carroll - RF
Mike Yastrzemski - CF Ketel Marte - 2B
Wilmer Flores - 3B Tommy Pham - LF
Joc Pederson - DH Christian Walker - 1B
Michael Conforto - RF Alek Thomas - CF
Mitch Haniger - LF Lourdes Gurriel - DH
Patrick Bailey - C Gabriel Moreno - C
Brandon Crawford - SS Jace Peterson - 3B
Thairo Estrada - 2B Geraldo Perdomo - SS
Alex Cobb - RHP Zac Gallen - RHP


That’s what I think the D-backs need to go down the stretch to get into the playoffs. 6-5 might possibly be enough, but that would be pretty dicey. The logic for that number is, it would take Arizona to a final tally of 86 wins. That means two of the three team behind us would need to go the following or better, in order to surpass the D-backs in the wlld-card race)

  • Cubs 9-3 (we own the tie-breaker, so they would have to reach 87 wins).
  • Reds: 7-3
  • Marlins: 8-3

The Reds I can certainly see potentially doing it, and I feel they are the biggest threat to the D-backs in these final two weeks. The extra win in the books for them, plus having the tie-breaker against Arizona, are both significant. They also have the easiest remaining schedule of any contender. But I don’t think it’s likely the Cubs or Marlins can step up as necessary. Again, having the tie-breaker over Chicago is potentially huge.

I will also not be surprised if the D-backs go to a four-man rotation the rest of the way where possible. There are off-days on each of the next two Thursday, and that means we only need a fifth starter once, in the White Sox series. Everyone else could pitch on normal rest, every fifth day, This would mean six of the eleven games will be started by Zac Gallen or Merrill Kelly, including the final two contests against Houston. This set-up would also mean, if a wild-card spot is clinched before the final weekend, one or ideally both of our best pitchers can be replaced in the meaningless games, and rested for the wild-card series. Here’s what the schedule and starting pitchers would look like:

  • Tue, Sep 19 - vs San Francisco, Gallen
  • Wed, Sep 20 - vs San Francisco, Kelly
  • Thu, Sep 21 - OFF
  • Fri, Sep 22 - @ NY Yankees, Pfaadt
  • Sat, Sep 23 - @ NY Yankees, Davies
  • Sun, Sep 24 - @ NY Yankees, Gallen
  • Mon, Sep 25 - @ Chicago WS, Kelly
  • Tue, Sep 26 - @ Chicago WS, Nelson
  • Wed, Sep 27 - @ Chicago WS, Pfaadt
  • Thu, Sep 28 - OFF
  • Fri, Sep 29 - vs Houston, Davies
  • Sat, Sep 30 - vs Houston, Gallen
  • Sun, Oct 1 - vs Houston, Kelly

I’d like to see us win both of these games, take two in Chicago and New York. That would leave us needing one victory in the final series against Houston. Hopefully they will have clinched the division themselves by that point and so will be inclined to rest their best players, though it seems like the AL West winner will get a first-round bye anyway. Here are today’s scoreboard watching games for you:

  • Minnesota Twins @ Cincinnati Reds 3:40 pm
  • New York Mets @ Miami Marlins 3:40 pm
  • Philadelphia Phillies @ Atlanta Braves 4:20 pm
  • Pittsburgh Pirates @ Chicago Cubs 4:40 pm
  • San Francisco Giants @ Arizona D’Backs 6:40 pm

Random fun fact. The Padres now have the third-best run differential in the National League, at +79. They need to go 9-2 down the stretch to get a winning record. No National League team in history has been +79 or better in run differential, and also been at or below .500. The worst ever were the Nationals in 2018, who were +89 and went 82-80. Two American League teams have done it, most recently the 2006 Indians (+88, 78-84).