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D-backs Preview #92: 7/11 @ Dodgers

Well, it HAS to go better than last night. Hasn’t it? But if not, there are other things going on!

Italy v England - UEFA Euro 2020: Final Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Josh Rojas - SS Mookie Betts - RF
Josh VanMeter - 2B Max Muncy - 1B
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Justin Turner - 3B
Christian Walker - 1B Cody Bellinger - CF
Josh Reddick - RF Will Smith - C
David Peralta - LF Chris Taylor - 2B
Stephen Vogt - C AJ Pollock - LF
Daulton Varsho - CF Gavin Lux - SS
Merrill Kelly - RHP Tony Gonsolin - RHP

As we’ve already documented, last night’s game was record-setting, in any number of ways - all of them bad for the Diamondbacks. But, wait! There’s more! The 21-run margin of defeat hasn’t been surpassed in the National League for 45 years, since the Pirates beat the Cubs 22-0 on September 16, 1975. Arizona were Andrew Young’s eighth inning solo shot away from matching that. The all-time NL margin record is 23, set all the way back in 2011, when the Cincinnati Reds beat the Boston Rustlers (yep: Rustlers) 26-3. The Diamondbacks also became the first team in National League history to lose by twenty or more runs, while also striking out over ten times (11 K’s for Arizona last night).

And yet, the team still comes into this one with a chance of winning the series - even though, as Jack mentioned, they’re not exactly favored. That’s the beauty of baseball: every day is a clean slate. But you’ll be forgiven if you’re not exactly paying attention to this game, with a range of alternative distractions. There’s the MLB draft which starts at 4 pm, Arizona time; Game 3 of the NBA Finals, beginning at 5 pm; and personally, the day will start with the final of the European Football Championships at noon, in which England take on Italy. When that’s over, I’ll then be speeding through to catch up on the D-backs game for recappage. Let’s just hope the final doesn’t go into extra time and penalties!

Kole Calhoun

Before the game yesterday, Calhoun spoke about the process of coming back from injury. He had a tweak while on rehab playing for Reno in Sacramento a little over two weeks ago. He had imaging that came back good. Since then it’s just been a day by day process, checking off boxes to get ready for his return. He worked out in the AZL, and played in a game there Thursday. Over the last few days he has also been doing outfield drills, ran bases, took at bats, getting treatment and “hopped on a flight, here we are” He feels good and confident and is excited to be back.

Asked if he thought he could “jump right back into it, facing MLB pitching”, Kole laughed and said “I hope so! That’s why I’m here today. I mean we’ll see. You can’t replicate the big leagues at any level. This is the game’s highest level for a reason.” I asked if he was able to get in any sudden acceleration type plays. “I scored from second on a base hit in one of them, went first to third on another. Didn’t get to do much in the outfield . Like I said, I came out of it healthy, everything looks good on the imaging. So it just gets to a point where you gotta go out and do it. So that’s where we’re at right now. Hopefully everything goes well.”

It was mentioned by one writer that it seemed a quick turnaround from being pulled off the field in the game for Reno and then “suddenly” he’s back. Kole didn’t agree. He talked about some impatience having tweaked the hamstring and having to wait. It sounds like he was really pushing to get back. “The thing with Reno, now that’s 16 days guess to you it feels quick, to me it feels like a lifetime... I was not necessarily trying to push it, but being so close and then having to wait , so every day it was just get better, get better, make sure this thing’s strong, test it test it test it, I mean you can only test it so much before it’s time to go again , and it;’s time to go”

Kole Calhoun audio [or link]

Torey Lovullo notes

  • Getting team ready for last game before break and in lieu: I think that’s sometimes the most difficult part of my job and the funnest part of my job.... to quickly turn the page from what we walked through yesterday... That’s the art of coaching, and the art of teaching and making sure these guys are ready.... we’ve been talking about coming here to L.A. and playing good baseball. We’re one for two in that area. We know what happened yesterday but need to remember how well we played on Friday
  • Madison Bumgarner is feeling good following his rehab game. The possibility his next outing will be in MLB following the All Star Break was not ruled out
  • Zac Gallen will throw a sim game on Monday and the same seems to hold true for him as well.
  • It’s also possible Merrill Kelly’s next outing after the All Star Break will be pushed back towards the later part of the rotation to give him extra time off as well
  • Nick Ahmed and Pavin Smith are just getting extra days off today but both might appear in the back half of the game. Interesting point from Torey about rookie players needing a little extra time off mentally as they’re used to season ending in August, and September can be a real grind for rookies.

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]