Here we are folks, after a long summer of baseball fun the 2011 Major League Baseball is almost over. Just one more series and it's on to the offseason with winter meetings, trades, free agency and then....wait! The season is NOT OVER for the Arizona Diamondbacks! This team will be playing baseball into October!!! The Los Angeles Dodgers, however, will not.
As meaningless as this final series must feel for the Dodgers players who are anxious to get on to their vacations, it is still very much an important three-game set for the D-backs. Arizona is one game behind the Milwaukee Brewers for home field advantage in the first round. The Brew Crew opens their final series against the Pirates.
Helping the chase for home field advantage is the convenient luck of the draw that had Clayton Kershaw pitching on Sunday and thereby avoiding his Cy Young presence on the mound at Chase Field. Here's how the pitching match ups play out. Don't skip on watching Tuesday's ML debut for young Jarrod Parker!
- Monday: Daniel Hudson (16-11, 3.43) vs. Dana Eveland (2-2, 3.75)
- Tuesday: Jarrod Parker (0-0, 0.00) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (13-16, 3.17)
- Wednesday: Joe Saunders (12-12, 3.58) vs. Ted Lilly (11-14, 4.12)
Don't be shocked if Wade Miley ends up pitching that last game of the season so Saunders can get a little extra rest before the playoffs. Depending on where things stand with the race for home field, a lot of guys could get a rest that day.
Final series preview from AZ Snake Pit:
Series Preview #52: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Seriously though, this Diamondback team. I pegged them for 74 wins at the beginning of the season and, quite frankly, I felt like I was being pretty generous with that prediction. The offense was roughly league-average in 2010, and even that was based largely on unsustainable BABIP seasons from Chris Young and Kelly Johnson, not to mention 57 home runs from corner infielders who were going to be replaced with a veteran-flavored wad of chewing gum.