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D-backs Preview #142: 9/11 @ Mariners

Can anything stop the D-backs in Tankapalooza 2021?

A US M1 tank fires during a joint milita Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Josh Rojas - 2B J.P. Crawford - SS
Ketel Marte - CF Mitch Haniger - DH
Josh VanMeter - 3B Kyle Seager - 3B
Carson Kelly - C Ty France - 1B
David Peralta - LF Abraham Toro - 2B
Pavin Smith - 1B Jose Marmolejos - LF
Seth Beer - DH Jarred Kelenic - CF
Nick Ahmed - SS Jake Bauers - RF
Daulton Varsho - RF Cal Raleigh - C
H. Castellanos - RHP Chris Flexen - RHP

Tankapalooza update

What a difference a week makes. The Diamondbacks’ have imploded again, losing six in a row and ten of their last eleven, to once again take over the lead in Tankapalooza 2021. Meanwhile, the Orioles have been... remarkably competent, going 6-4 as we head into play today, That’s a better record than three division leaders (the Braves, Astros and Rays, who are all 5-5), and FAR better than the 2-8 Yankees - a slump which I am appreciating very much, thank you for asking. The Rangers have also been pretty good, helped by their two-game sweep of the D-backs, also posting a 6-4 record.

That has dropped them behind the Pirates, but it really looks like a two-horse race at this point. Arizona now sits 112 games ahead of Baltimore, and 6 up on Pittsburgh for third. Both teams have a rough week coming up in the schedule. The Diamondbacks face Seattle, Los Angeles and Houston on the road. Meanwhile, the Orioles also face three playoff teams, in Toronto, New York and Boston, but are at least at home for the first two series. Here are the current standings before today’s contests:

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks 45-96
  2. Baltimore Orioles 46-94
  3. Pittsburgh Pirates 51-90
  4. Texas Rangers 51-89
  5. Washington Nationals 58-83

Torey Lovullo notes

  • Caleb Smith’s 10 game suspension for foreign substance on his glove was upheld after appeal and he begins serving it today. He is not with the team and flew back to Arizona. Torey said Caleb presented what he said before, it was unintentional.
  • Merrill Kelly will throw a bullpen on Monday and then be assessed for next steps.
  • Kole Calhoun initiated a “casual” running progression program today, separate from his live AB’s.
  • Tyler Clippard threw a 25 pitch bullpen today. His symptoms have decreased substantially.

One-run game record: I asked Torey if the 8-27 record was more about the personnel’s inability to play under pressure, or more about the strategic decisions that he’s made:

“This game’s been played for a long time. I know what our one run record is. It’s bordering on being historically a very poor performance. We have a chance to right that ship and not set an all time record. I’m aware of that. To answer your question, I need to be accountable for what my part is in that. It’s a combination of a lot of things. We know that we shifted into another area with a youthful movement. But to me that’s never an excuse for winning or losing close games. We had good players here at the beginning of the year and we were losing one run games. So I think it is a collective effort that starts with me and we need to be better.”

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]