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Preview, #162: 9/30 @ Padres

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Welcome to the last day of the regular season. Or perhaps not.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS PADRES
Ketel Marte - 2B Freddy Galvis - SS
Chris Owings - 3B Wil Myers - 3B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Franmil Reyes - RF
Socrates Brito - RF Hunter Renfroe - LF
Nick Ahmed - SS Eric Hosmer - 1B
A.J. Pollock - CF Austin Hedges - C
Patrick Kivlehan - LF Jose Pirela - 2B
John Ryan Murphy - C Manuel Margot - CF
Robbie Ray - LHP Joey Lucchesi - LHP

Well, this should be interesting. Not, of course, so much for what may happen at Petco Park this afternoon, but for what will be going on simultaneously around the league. After 161 games, there is nothing to separate the Rockies and Dodgers in the NL West, or the Cubs and Brewers in the Central. This means there are four games today which will determine (or perhaps not, since we may have one or even two Game #163’s tomorrow) the playoff picture in the NL:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Francisco Giants - 12:05 pm
  • Detroit Tigers @ Milwaukee Brewers - 12:10 pm
  • Washington Nationals @ Colorado Rockies - 12:10 pm
  • St. Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs - 12:20 pm

You have to feel the edge is probably with the Cubs and the Dodgers. Chicago is playing at home, and the Rockies are going up against Max Scherzer, who is likely to get at least some Cy Young first-place votes, when those are counted. But on the other hand, they are also playing at home, and Coors Field gonna Coors. Safe to say, this is what MLB wanted, both with the addition of the second wild-card, and the scheduling of all games at more or less the same time today. I think we’ll all be watching the Diamondbacks game with at least half an eye - and, I’m thinking, probably closer to an eye and a half - on the scores as things unfold elsewhere.

But for the D-backs, this could a significant game, in the sense that it may end up being a farewell to a large number of players. We have eleven free agents hitting the market this winter, so that means eleven men for whom this could be their final outing in an Arizona uniform. This could be the final game in the Arizona dugout for Patrick Corbin, Randall Delgado, Daniel Descalso, Jake Diekman, Eduardo Escobar, Jon Jay, Jeff Mathis, A.J. Pollock, Chris Stewart and Brad Ziegler (the 11th being Neftali Feliz, who never made it into the dugout). It’s almost certain that whatever shape the 2019 Diamondbacks end up taking, it will be radically different from what we see this afternoon.

The team secured a winning record with yesterday’s win over the Padres, but it would be nice to finish off the season with back-to-back series victories, and an 83-79 record. Meaningless though it would be in overall terms, the final result is one with which we will have to live for the next six months. But I think almost all Diamondbacks fans would happily trade victory today, for a Dodgers loss and a Rockies win in their respective games!