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Preview, #34: 5/5 @ Rockies

Zack Greinke starts, as the D-backs go for another road sweep.

MLB: New York Yankees at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Jarrod Dyson - CF Charlie Blackmon - RF
Ketel Marte - SS Trevor Story - SS
David Peralta - LF Daniel Murphy - 1B
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Nolan Arenado - 3B
Christian Walker - 1B David Dahl - CF
Ildemaro Vargas - 2B Raimel Tapia - LF
Blake Swihart - RF Ryan McMahon - 2B
John Ryan Murphy - C Tony Wolters - C
Zack Greinke - RHP German Marquez - RHP

The D-backs have succeeded in cooling off the Rockies, who came into this series, looking more like the team they were expected to be. After starting the season 3-12, Colorado had turned things around with a 10-2 run to get back to within one run of a .500 mark. But their struggles at Coors Field have continued: after these two defeats to Arizona, Colorado are only 5-9 on their home turf, a venue where they have historically done well. From 1998-2018, the Rockies rank 25th in overall win percentage, at .470 (the D-backs, incidentally, are 18th at .493). But at home, Colorado jump up to 13th, at .540 (the D-backs are still 18th), while they are dead last on the road, with only a .400 win percentage.

The D-backs turn to Zack Greinke in the finale as they go for the sweep, the rotation having been tweaked last time through so that Zack and not Merrill Kelly would start in Colorado. Though Greinke’s ERA at Coors is a mediocre 4.18, over 11 starts and one relief appearance, he has only suffered one defeat there, and the Diamondbacks are 4-1 in his starts for them in this ballpark. But perhaps getting Zack to start here is as much about giving him the chance to hit at Coors, though his OPS here (.593) is basically right in line with his career figure (.598). He has hit 6-for-26 with a pair of double in Denver; just one RBI, but does have as many walks as strikeouts (2 of each).

It would certainly be nice to complete the sweep, though you can never complain about winning series on the road. We’d have settled for that before we arrived, so this afternoon is basically playing with house money. Getting greedy should be the order of the day. I was impressed to see the 2019 D-backs sit just two back of the ferocious pace set by the 2018 team, who demolished the opposition in April. Given how they imploded in May, there’s a decent chance we pass them by the end of May. That’ll be game #58, at which point in 2018, the D-backs were 31-27. We could have a losing record the rest of the month and still be ahead of that: 12-13 would take Arizona to a 32-26 mark. Here’s to more than that though!