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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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DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 17: Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies pitches during a regular season MLB game between the Colorado Rockies and the visiting San Diego Padres at Coors Field on September 17, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Russell Lansford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 17: Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies pitches during a regular season MLB game between the Colorado Rockies and the visiting San Diego Padres at Coors Field on September 17, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Russell Lansford/Getty Images)

Get to Gray early

Not many postseason-eligible starting pitchers are throwing the baseball better than Jon Gray.

The right hander has not allowed more than three runs in 13 straight games, one shy of a Rockies’ club record. In his last five starts, Gray is 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA and in three starts against the D-backs, he went 2-1 and struck out 20 in two regular-season starts at Chase Field.

Gray has a plus slider and curveball to go along with a fastball that can reach the high-90’s. The D-backs will have to get to Gray early. The righty throws his fastball a lot on the first pitch and the D-backs have been at their best when swinging at the first offering.

Another reason to score early and often against Gray? The Rockies bullpen is the strength of their team.

The Rockies backend of right hander Pat Neshek, left hander Jake McGee and closer Greg Holland is as good as it gets. Here are the D-backs averages against those three relievers:

D-backs vs. Neshek: .320 AVG (7-for-20) 

D-backs vs. McGee: .214 AVG (3-for-14) 

D-backs vs. Holland: .083 (2-for-24) 

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