Arizona Diamondbacks: Favorable schedule heading into October
By Joseph Jacquez
The Arizona Diamondbacks appear to have a favorable schedule for the rest of the regular season
Do not take anything for granted.
That has been manager Torey Lovullo‘s message. The Arizona Diamondbacks are closing in on clinching home field for the National League wild card game on Oct. 4.
"“We know that the Giants and Padres aren’t having great seasons,” Lovullo told Fox Sports Arizona before Friday’s game. “But, our guys are ready to execute on every level. It’s go time.“There is no doubt about it. This is a very special time of the year. These guys are feeling something as a group. They know something is different each and every day, and I am excited to see where that lands us.”"
Outfielder A.J. Pollock said all the Diamondbacks can do is take care of their own business.
"“I think we’re really focused on the day, the task at hand,” Pollock told Fox Sports Arizona after Friday’s win. “That’s been our approach the whole year and I think if we get away from that, I don’t think it will really serve us well.“That magic number will dwindle down if we play really good baseball, and right now we’re playing really good.”"
Even after loosing the first two games to the Rockies on Monday and Tuesday at Chase Field, the D-backs forgot about it and went on to win the next two.
Pollock is right. There approach has worked the whole year and the Diamondbacks cannot take any team lightly. The D-backs have the most wins against teams above .500 in the majors for a reason.
After a huge win in game one against San Francisco, here is a look at the remaining regular season schedule with the D-backs magic number down to seven.
Final two by the bay
The final true “road trip” of the season has the Diamondbacks in San Francisco for two more games and then San Diego for three next week.
The D-backs scratched and clawed their way to a one-run victory Friday, which is what good teams do. But they need to get the bats going.
It will be a tough task on Saturday against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, who owns an ERA under three in his career against the D-backs, but I like the D-backs chances with Zack Greinke on the mound.
Taijuan Walker goes for the D-backs in the series finale. If he can find a way to be more efficient, that is limiting his pitches per inning, Arizona should have no issues sweeping this undermanned San Francisco ball club.
Off to San Diego
Three games at Petco Park against Andy Green‘s pesky Padres is no easy task. The Padres are building a young core, and they have played well this season.
The Padres have not announced their starters, but here is who is projected to go for the D-backs this weekend, September 18-20.
Game 1: LHP Patrick Corbin (14-12, 4.06)
Game 2: RHP Zack Godley (8-7, 3.00)
Game 3: LHP Robbie Ray (14-5, 2.74)
Corbin returned to his dominant form his last time out. But he allowed eight runs in less than four innings in his start against the Padres at Chase Field.
The pitching match ups are favorable, and I expect the D-backs to take at least two of three.
I can’t believe I am saying it, but the Diamondbacks final home stand is coming up. I could have sworn our team just took the field for Opening Day.
Anyways, Giancarlo is coming to town, and you cannot miss it. Hopefully I can catch him taking batting practice.
Stanton is racing towards 62 home runs, and he will have a chance to hit dingers in a hitter-friendly ballpark. In 20 career games at Chase Field, Stanton has hit six home runs.
The Marlins were in the playoff race for a while. So if you’re Arizona, this will not be a series to take off.
Two prime MVP candidates face off and it should be fun. The 2017 home slate concludes with three more games against the Giants.
The D-backs wrap up the regular season in the most conventional way possible — against the Kansas City Royals. (Did you catch the sarcasm?)
Depending on what the standings look like, this could be a time to rest regulars, or take two of three to clinch home field.
It all depends on how this team plays leading into the final series. When the Royals and D-backs face off for three games, September 29-30 and Oct. 1, Brandon Drury will have a chance to set the single season record for doubles in interleague play.
If the Diamondbacks play the right way, they should cruise to the finish line and finish with 90-plus wins for the first time since 2011.
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