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Preview, #159: 9/26 vs. Dodgers

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I’d like to thank Eduardo Escobar for making me excited about baseball again.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

DODGERS DIAMONDBACKS
Joc Pederson - LF Ketel Marte - 2B
Justin Turner - 3B Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Max Muncy - 1B David Peralta - LF
Manny Machado - SS Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Cody Bellinger - CF Socrates Brito - RF
Yasiel Puig - RF A.J. Pollock - CF
Yasmani Grandal - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Chris Taylor - 2B Jeff Mathis - C
Ross Stripling - RHP Zack Greinke - RHP

I’ll be honest. I wrote last night’s game off after Brad Boxberger blew the save in the ninth inning. I certainly didn’t expect Eduardo Escobar to walk Arizona off as winners just a few pitches later. But it gives us the distinct, non-zero possibility of sending the Dodgers out of Arizona in second place at the end of tonight. We just need the Rockies to keep beating up on the already eliminated Phillies, and Zack Greinke to Greinke. That delicious prospect seemed little more than a pipe dream in the middle of the ninth last night. But here we are, with not one but two pennant races in the NL, since the wobbly Cubs also saw their edge over the Brewers cut to half a game.

The Rockies also overtook the Cardinals for the second wild-card, so the possibilities are endless right now. We could, technically, end with a five-way tie on 91 wins at the top of the NL. I have no freakin’ clue how MLB would sort that out. It remains VERY unlikely, but there is a distinct, non-zero possibility of a tie in either West or Central. Or, better still, both. :) Damn, while I’d rather see the Dodgers sent home ignominiously, the next best thing would probably be the baseball Ragnarok of them facing the Cubs in the wild-card game at Wrigley Field. Big question for LA: assuming stuff is still to be decided, do you burn Kershaw in Game #161 on Saturday? Or keep him back for the wild card or Game 1 of the NLDS?

Certainly, the psychological edge tonight has to be with the D-backs. After the walk-off and with nothing to prove, they’re going to be a lot looser than the Dodgers, who are feeling the hot breath of Dinger on their neck. It’s an enthralling prospect, and I’ve even decided to abandon my previous pledge, not actively to watch the D-backs until they won two in a row. We may be eliminated, but can still be the Claudius to the Dodger’s Hamlet [I may be mixing my Shakespearean metaphors there], and that’s worth making the effort of at least initially tuning in. I reserve the right to change my mind if we suck, of course. :) Do not disappoint me in your final start, Zack.