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Preview, #19: 4/18 @ Braves

What dawn hell is this?

Robots’ Coffee Break Photo by Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Ildemaro Vargas - 3B Ozzie Albies - 2B
Wilmer Flores - 2B Johan Camargo - 3B
David Peralta - LF Freddie Freeman - 1B
Adam Jones - RF Ronald Acuna - LF
Christian Walker - 1B Nick Markakis - RF
Ketel Marte - SS Dansby Swanson - SS
Tim Locastro - CF Tyler Flowers - C
Carson Kelly - C Ender Inciarte - CF
Luke Weaver - RHP Mike Soroka - RHP

A first pitch at 9:10 am? I hope you’re not expecting your usual incisive and witty preview for this kind of start time. You’re probably lucky that it’s not just three paragraphs of yawning sounds, because that’s what this kind of game deserves. I guess this is how East coast fans feel about 7:10 pm first pitches. Needless to say, this is a preview which has been mostly written the night before, with just the line-ups getting plugged in on the day. The D-backs will be going for their first sweep of the season, and also looking to try and extend their season-high three-game winning streak, which has brought the team back to the .500 level. If they win, they’ll probably do it late.

That’s something which I mentioned in the GDT yesterday. The D-backs have scored just 17 runs in the first three innings this season, through 18 games. In contrast, they have scored 19 times in just the seventh inning, including the tying run in yesterday’s contest. There has been a lot of late-inning action on both sides. Of the D-backs 99 runs scored and 101 allowed, 55 of each have been scored from the sixth inning on. And going into the final stretch, the team seems to want to be behind. When they have been trailing at the start of the seventh, the D-backs are 4-4. But when tied at the start of the seventh, they have yet to win, having gone 0-4. [They’re 5-1 when ahead at that point, a solid number]

Most impressively of all, eight of Arizona’s nine wins have seen them trailing at some point in the game. Even the 15-8 mauling of the Red Sox, had Boston 1-0 up in the middle of the third. The sole exception is the 10-3 victory over the Padres on April Fools’ Day. Last night’s victory was also the first one of the year which did not involve the delivery of free tacos (*etc etc), the D-backs having previously gone 0-5 when scoring fewer than five runs. There, I think that’s enough random tit-bits of trivia to keep you going. Me, I’m off to get some coffee. Er, make that MORE coffee...