Opposite dugout: Diamondbacks trying to salvage lost season

Manager: Chip Hale (2nd season)


Record: 43-62

Last 10 games: 3-7

Who to watch: 2B Jean Segura (.311 with 129 hits), 3B Jake Lamb (.282 with 21 HR), 1B Paul Goldschmidt (.297 with 68 RBIs), RHP Zack Greinke (10-3, 3.62 ERA), RHP Jake Barrett (2.79 ERA, 3 saves)

Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting (3-4 in 2015)

Pitching probables:

August 1: RHP Stephen Strasburg vs. RHP Archie Bradley, 9:40 p.m., MASN
August 2: RHP Tanner Roark vs. LHP Robbie Ray, 9:40 p.m., MASN2
August 3: RHP Max Scherzer vs. RHP Zack Godley, 3:40 p.m., MASN

Inside the Diamondbacks:

When the Diamondbacks landed prize free agent pitcher Zack Greinke last November, signing him to a six-year contract worth more than $200 million, they immediately became one of the trendy picks to make some noise in the National League in 2016. The team had finished just a hair under the .500 mark at 79-83 and, with the addition of the former Cy Young Award winner, visions of returning to the postseason for the first time since 2011 were dancing in the heads of a lot of Diamondbacks fans.

Unfortunately, as the calendar turns to August, it's clear those visions will have be put on hold for at least another year. It's been a rough campaign for the Diamondbacks this season. After dropping Sunday's game to the Dodgers, Arizona sits at 43-62 and 18 games out of first place.

Despite the disappointing record, the Diamondbacks actually pack quite a punch on offense. The right side of the D-backs infield features two of the National League's top hitters in Paul Goldschmidt and Jean Segura. Goldschmidt, who finished second in the NL MVP voting a year ago, is batting .297 with 17 home runs and a team-leading 68 RBIs, while Segura is 11th in the league in hitting with a .311 average. With the Nationals' Daniel Murphy leading the senior circuit with a .350 average, this series will be feature two of the game's best second basemen. In just his second full season in the majors, third baseman Jake Lamb is already turning heads out west. Lamb leads the Diamondbacks with 21 home runs and leads all of baseball in triples with eight.

The pitching staff was, of course, the talk of the Diamondbacks heading into the season, especially considering the acquisition of Greinke and a trade with the Braves that sent former first overall pick Dansby Swanson to Atlanta - along with others - in exchange for right-hander Shelby Miller. Greinke has righted the ship after a rough opening month in Arizona, while Miller has been, well, a disaster. He's 2-9 with a 7.14 ERA, and is being floated around in multiple trade discussions, though the Diamondbacks aren't likely to ship Miller away at a bargain price. Right-hander Archie Bradley starts Monday's series opener and is looking to win back-to-back decisions for the first time since May 29. He's just 4-6 on the year, but Bradley has given up three runs or fewer in his last four starts. Robbie Ray has notched double-digit strikeouts in his last two starts, but is just 3-4 in 10 home starts this season and holds a 5.17 ERA at Chase Field compared to 4.25 on the road. Ray was actually drafted by the Nationals in the 12th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, but was traded to the Tigers in December 2013 when the Nationals acquired pitcher Doug Fister. After spending most of June in the Diamondbacks bullpen, right-hander Zack Godley started four games in July, going 2-1 with a 6.23 ERA in the month. Godley failed to make it past the sixth inning in any of his starts, but has excelled at keeping the ball inside the park. He's surrendered just three home runs all season in 32 innings of work and will face Max Scherzer in Wednesday's series finale.

In the bullpen, Jake Barrett has stepped into the role of closer after former relief man Brad Ziegler was traded to the Red Sox on July 9. Ziegler had notched 18 saves this season for Arizona, including posting a 2.82 ERA. Reliever Tyler Clippard was also recently dealt away from the desert, as the right-hander was shipped off to the Yankees in a trade over the weekend. With the deals, the Diamondbacks appear to still be shuffling things around in the bullpen, but will need to find a solution soon. In Sunday's loss to the Dodgers, the unit allowed a combined eight earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings.

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