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Preview, #39: 5/10 vs. Braves

Another 3-2 win in extra innings, perhaps? Some stolen bases might help...

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Arizona Diamondbacks Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Ronald Acuna - LF Jarrod Dyson - CF
Dansby Swanson - SS Ketel Marte - 2B
Freddie Freeman - 1B David Peralta - LF
Josh Donaldson - 3B Adam Jones - RF
Nick Markakis - RF Christian Walker - 1B
Ozzie Albies - 2B Ildemaro Vargas - 3B
Tyler Flowers - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Ender Inciarte - CF John Ryan Murphy - C
Julio Teheran - RHP Zack Greinke - RHP

Jack has the latest on Jake Lamb, who is slowly making his way back from a quad strain for the past month or so. According to manager Torey Lovullo, Jake is doing some light running, taking groundballs and batting practice, but “It’s a slow progression.” He definitely will not be back during this home-stand, which would take him through the six weeks Lamb was originally expected to miss. Interesting comments from Lovullo on fitting Jake in the line-up, given Christian Walker’s terrific season. “I think it will involve Jake playing a little bit at third base, and Eduardo (Escobar) potentially playing a little bit at second base.” No mention of first base at all, though read into that what you wish.

The D-backs offense, so hot in April, has stalled out a bit in May, managing to score only three runs in each of the last three games - and needing extra innings to reach that mark in two of them,. After averaging 5.23 runs per game in April, the figure has dropped to 4.88 in May - and that includes scoring 26 times over three contests in Coors Field. The five other games have seen Arizona muster a total of just 13 runs. OPS is down by 43 points as a team between April and May, though the great bulk of this is likely due to a similarly-sized drop (34 points) in the D-backs’ collective BABIP for the month. One interesting point: they haven’t been caught stealing a base yet, going 5-0 in that department.

A long way to go yet, but the team has never had a month where they’ve been perfect on the base-paths. The best ever was June 2007, where they were successful 13 times in 14 attempts, being one Eric Byrnes getting thrown out from impeccable. That 92.9% mark was almost matched in August the same year, when Arizona was 25-2: Chris Young was responsible for both of those caught stealing. Since then, the best month was August 2016, when the success rate was 91.3%; they did reach 90% last August. Interesting that four of the seven best months are all August. When pennant races are heating up, and rosters aren’t clogged down with rookies, perhaps?