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Preview, #121: 8/13 @ Rockies

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Arizona goes for the sweep in Colorado, behind Robbie Ray

Arizona Diamondbacks v Miami Marlins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS ROCKIES
Tim Locastro - LF Charlie Blackmon - RF
Ketel Marte - CF Trevor Story - SS
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Nolan Arenado - 3B
Christian Walker - 1B Yonder Alonso - 1B
Wilmer Flores - 2B Ian Desmond - LF
Adam Jones - RF Raimel Tapia - CF
Nick Ahmed - SS Garrett Hampson - 2B
Carson Kelly - C Tony Wolters - C
Robbie Ray - LHP Kyle Freeland - LHP

If it seems like a while since the Diamondbacks had a three-game sweep, that’s because it is. Indeed, they’ve only had one three-game winning streak of ANY kind since the All-Star break, and haven’t even had a CHANCE at a three-game sweep i.e. winning the first two games of such a series, in the second half. The last example was against these self-same Rockies at Chase Field, in the last series before the break, when Alex Young held them off and we brought out the brooms. If we win this afternoon’s game, the Diamondbacks will have taken six in a row from the Rockies. And yet, the season series will still only be level, at eight games apiece.

For it has been a remarkably streaky kind of season. It began with Arizona winning the first two games against Colorado. But they then inexplicably lost the ability to beat the Rockies, losing the next eight games in a row against them, before the current run of success. That’s more or less the way the Rockies’ season as a whole has gone. They started off 3-12, before getting red-hot, reaching a high of 40-34 on June 20. But they then suffered three consecutive walk-off losses in Los Angeles, and at this point, have won only nine of their last 37 games, and one of the last eight. As long as this slump continues through next Wednesday, when we see them for the final time this year, that’s fine by me.

For now, it appears the Rockies are apparently destined to return to the cellar of the NL West, a spot they last occupied in 2015. It’s an unexpected fate for a team many thought would challenge for a third consecutive wild-card appearance. And they’re not cheap either, with a payroll in the top half of clubs, at $148.8 million, anchored by three contracts, to Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and Wade Davis, which are all bigger than anything on the D-backs, after the departure of Zack Greinke. Arenado is on the books for four more years at $35 million, with a full no-trade clause; he may be worth it, but as the D-backs saw with Greinke, a large contract like that can be more trouble than it’s worth.