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Preview, #118: 8/11 @ Dodgers

A hit with runners in scoring position. That’d be nice

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Tim Locastro - LF Joc Pederson - RF
Ketel Marte - CF Max Muncy - 2B
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Justin Turner - 3B
Christian Walker - 1B Cody Bellinger - 1B
Wilmer Flores - 2B Corey Seager - SS
Adam Jones - RF Will Smith - C
Nick Ahmed - SS Matt Beaty - LF
Carson Kelly - C Kris Negron - CF
Mike Leake - RHP Hyun-Jin Ryu - LHP

The last time an Arizona batter had a hit with runners in scoring position was on Wednesday, when Ketel Marte singled home Jarrod Dyson in the eighth inning. Since than the Diamondbacks have gone 0-fo-14 with RISP. They had one more at-bat in the final of the Phillies series, then went 0-for-12 in the series opener (scoring all their runs on Carson Kelly’s pair of home-runs), and only had one at-bat in last night’s defeat. That was David Peralta striking out looking against Kenta Maeda, while Marte stood on third-base, ending the fourth inning. Considering that, as well as that Arizona has scored three runs in total, it’s quite impressive we enter this final game with a chance of winning the series.

Key word being “chance”, considering we’re facing a pitcher in Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has one loss over his last seventeen starts, with an ERA of 1.25 over that time. And if you take out an outing in Coors Field, his ERA over the other sixteen appearances sinks to 0.57. Yep, let me spell that out: zero point five seven. That game against the Rockies was the only one so far this year, out of 21 starts, where he has allowed more than two earned runs. Just one qualifying pitcher in the live-ball era has had a better ERA than Ryu’s 1.53: Bob Gibson’s 1.12 in 1968. And they lowered the pitching mound as a result of that. Ryu currently just edges Dwight Gooden’s 1985 campaign in the third decimal, 1.526 to 1.529.

But when you adjust for park and era, Ryu’s season is better than either. His ERA+ is 270, compared to Gibson’s 258 and Gooden’s relatively pedestrian 229. By that metric, Ryu trails two other seasons: Pedro Martinez’s 291 in 2000 (ERA 1.74) and Greg Maddux’s 271 in 1994 (1.56). Can Ryu keep it up? Or can the Diamondbacks continue what has been a recent streak of legend-killing? Look no further than this year’s dominance of Stephen Strasburg. Though they’ll have to do considerably better than when they faced Ryu in June, when he blanked Arizona over seven innings of three-hit ball. They have beaten him before, but not in the last six starts. They’ll probably need some hits with runners in scoring position.

One roster move today, with Matt Andriese being taken off the injured list, and Robby Scott being optioned back to Reno. If Andriese ends up pitching in this one, it’s probably a bad thing.