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Arizona Diamondbacks: 5 keys to winning the Wild Card game

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PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 27: The Arizona Diamondbacks stand for the national anthem prior to the MLB game against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field on September 27, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 27: The Arizona Diamondbacks stand for the national anthem prior to the MLB game against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field on September 27, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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PHOENIX, AZ – JULY 02: Charlie Blackmon #19 of the Colorado Rockies bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on July 2, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Rockies 4-3. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ – JULY 02: Charlie Blackmon #19 of the Colorado Rockies bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on July 2, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Rockies 4-3. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Leadoff Lumber

Blackmon is part of a new trend in Major League Baseball – a leadoff batter with pop.

This season, 13 of the Rockies center fielder’s 37 home runs came in the leadoff spot. Blackmon hit .303 with a .920 OPS leading off and six of his home runs came in the first inning.

Blackmon has burned the Diamondbacks with a leadoff home run more than once in the last two years. So while Blackmon has struggled away from the “friendly confines” of Coors Field, he is still a threat to jump on a first-pitch fastball or mistake pitch.

The Diamondbacks can ill afford to fall behind before Greinke toes the rubber. When the D-backs did not score first, they were 36-45.

For the most part, the Diamondbacks did a great job of mitigating the long ball in the first inning. Arizona pitchers surrendered 20 home runs in the opening inning this season, the sixth-lowest total in baseball.

Greinke gave up six home runs to the Rockies this season. Keeping the ball in the yard against the Rockies will be critical, but Blackmon has not hit a ball out against the D-backs right hander in 49 career at-bats.

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