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D-backs Preview #121: 8/18 vs. Phillies

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A tightening of Tankapalooza!

World War I Tanks Military Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Today's Lineups

PHILLIES DIAMONDBACKS
Odubel Herrera - CF Nick Ahmed - SS
Jean Segura - 2B Ketel Marte - CF
Bryce Harper - RF Asdrubal Cabrera - 3B
J.T. Realmuto - C Carson Kelly - C
Didi Gregorius - SS Pavin Smith - RF
Andrew McCutchen - LF Christian Walker - 1B
Brad Miller - 1B Josh Rojas - LF
Ronald Torreyes - 3B Drew Ellis - 2B
Ranger Suarez - LHP H. Castellanos - RHP

Tankapalooza update

Another one-run win for the Diamondbacks last night, with that area continuing to regress as predicted. After going a remarkable 2-20 through Independence Day in this category, the Diamondbacks have rediscovered how to win close games, and have taken five of the last eight games decided by one run. Last night’s victory meant they no longer have the worst record in all of baseball, with the D-backs 39-81 now a couple of points better than the Orioles’ 38-80. Baltimore has been making a real push of late, having lost thirteen games in a row. The Pirates, too, continue to suck, having dropped nine of their last ten, and this means things are now considerably closer. Here’s the current standings:

  1. Baltimore Orioles 38-80
  2. Arizona Diamondbacks 39-81
  3. Pittsburgh Pirates 42-78
  4. Texas Rangers 42-77
  5. Miami Marlins 51-69
  6. Washington Nationals 51-68

Torey Lovullo notes

  • Noe Ramirez and Stuart Fairchild are both ‘very very close” to returning and they’ll have more clarity within 24 hours. Fairchild was having a tough time getting reps and at bats before going on the IL, and they are still deciding whether he will be optioned to Reno to get more reps or come back to the MLB roster. Torey acknowledged the playing time crunch/logjam that exists.
  • Merrill Kelly is still “grinding though” his symptoms. He will not be rushed back.
  • Joe Mantiply and Matt Herges continue to be asymptomatic and test negative.
  • Humberto Castellanos: ”I think he has a starter mentality, he looked much more comfortable as a starter. I know there’s a little bit more wiggle room with a stater. When you’re coming out of the bullpen they’re now innings and now moments, you’ve got to attack hitters and get after them, and not create some traffic... As a starter I know you can work in and out of those jams. It just seems that is what he was comfortable doing. I think it was 4 or 5 innings of really good baseball that he threw. [in his lone start this year] NOTE: His recent pitch count was in the 90’s in Reno and he’s stretched out
  • Drew Ellis at 2B today. He played 36 innings at 2B in Reno. Reno Manager Blake Lalli signed off and said he looks comfortable there from his view. He’s also practiced there since coming up and also played there when in the over shift and does not appear to have any issues picking up the ball at 2B. [no mention of turning DP’s] The main impetus is to get his right handed bat into lineup vs. a lefty.

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]