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D-backs Preview #129: 8/26 @ Phillies

Time to see if the D-backs can play spoiler again

A cheese steak at V&S Sandwiches. March 12, 2019. For a story on cheesesteak day. Photo by Ben Hasty Photo By Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Josh Rojas - 2B Odubel Herrera - LF
Ketel Marte - CF Jean Segura - 2B
Pavin Smith - RF Bryce Harper - RF
Carson Kelly - C J.T. Realmuto - C
David Peralta - LF Didi Gregorius - SS
Christian Walker - 1B Brad Miller - 1B
Josh VanMeter - 3B Ronald Torreyes - 3B
Nick Ahmed - SS Travis Jankowski - CF
Zac Gallen - RHP Matt Moore - LHP

The race for the second wild-card in the National League has become considerably more interesting of late, as the Padres have fallen back into the pack. After the first three months, it looked like it would be a procession for them. At the end of June, San Diego were 49-33, putting them 612 ahead of the Cubs. Mind you, at that point, the Mets were also leading the NL East. But since the beginning of July, New York and San Diego have both played worse than Arizona: their records of 20-30 and 19-27 sit below our 21-25. As a result, if the playoffs started today, neither team would be included, having been overtaken by the Braves and Reds respectively.

As for the Phillies, after being tied for first place in their division as recently as 12 days ago, they go into play on Thursday, five games back in both the NL East and wild-card race. So really need to pick it up if they are to contend. Getting swept in Arizona by the worst team in the league was described as “humiliating” by the local media. They did rebound to win two of three in San Diego, but then came back home and were swept in a two-game set by the Rays, Their offense has been the issue: over the past 15 games, they’re collectively hitting below the Uecker Line (.192) and averaging just 2.87 runs per game. A failure for them to win this four-game series could be the nail in their post-season hopes.

Torey Lovullo notes

  • Kole Calhoun going through running progressions and live AB’s today
  • Luke Weaver still hoping to emerge from protocol on time tomorrow
  • Merrill Kelly will throw a bullpen tomorrow.
  • Tyler Gilbert short hook last night: I asked if his 80 pitches had been more evenly spread out over the 5 innings of work, as opposed to the back to back pitch big pitch count innings would that have factored into letting him go another inning or two? Torey responded that was definitely THE factor. In the past, he used to have the thought that if a pitcher exceeded 30-35 pitches in an inning, no matter the total, he’d get him out of there. But on this humid night, 54 pitches over the two innings was enough to cause him to go into protect mode with the pitcher

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]