|Jon Jay - RF||Charlie Blackmon - CF|
|Eduardo Escobar - 3B||DJ LeMahieu - 2B|
|David Peralta - LF||Nolan Arenado - 3B|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||David Dahl - LF|
|A.J. Pollock - CF||Trevor Story - SS|
|Ketel Marte - 2B||Carlos Gonzalez - RF|
|Nick Ahmed - SS||Ryan McMahon - 1B|
|Jeff Mathis - C||Tony Wolters - C|
|Zack Greinke - RHP||A. Senzatela - RHP|
The D-backs sit 31⁄2 games back of the Rockies, and four back of the second wild-card spot (currently occupied by the Cardinals). They simply cannot afford to fall any further behind, making these three games, to all intents and purposes, win or go home. Arizona’s recent form has been... problematic, on most levels. The offense has struggled to reach the “six run” threshold which DBacksEurope recently outlined. They’ve managed it only twice over the last 20 contests - and lost one of those games, 6-7 to Atlanta. The bullpen has been an abomination, with an 8.33 ERA for September, the second-worst for a month in franchise history (May 2010 was 8.56), and five losses already, in only nine games.
If the team is to recover, it’s likely going to be driven by its starting pitching, and at least we do have our three best starters going for the rest of these games. Whether it will be enough remains to be seen. But I did notice something slightly heart-warming. Results yesterday make it unlikely the Dodgers will be able to clinch the division at Chase in the penultimate series. With three to play, they’d need to finish that set at least 3.5 games up; currently, they’re 1.5 back of Colorado. So they would have to make up five games on the Rockies over the fifteen between now and the end of the series vs. us. If Colorado goes even 7-8, Los Angeles would need to go 12-3,
This matters, because as I’ve become largely accustomed to the fact that Arizona is highly unlikely to win the NL West, other scenarios have been contemplated. We were talking about this a bit in yesterday’s Gameday Thread: I think most D-backs fans would far prefer it if the Rockies capture their first NL West title ever, rather than another Dodgers championship. And, personally, the worst case would be Los Angeles doing so on our turf. If they must, let them celebrate after they leave Arizona, for their final series of the season in San Francisco. Sorry, Giants fans. Perhaps they can be encouraged to take a dip in McCovey Cove, and Yasiel Puig gets eaten by a sea-lion.