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D-backs’ Corbin and Lamb could be key as team enters tough stretch

(AP Photo)

All wins are not created equal.

The Diamondbacks went through an embarrassing stretch, losing eight of their last nine before taking the series in Cincinnati on Thursday. It wasn’t embarrassing to go through a losing streak in a long season of 162 games. The embarrassment was losing to the Reds and Braves. The door was opened and the Rockies, Brewers and Cubs started walking through (although the Pirates have helped step on the Brewers).

Starting tonight, the fun and games end. Between now and September 15, the schedule is brutal. Other than nine games against the Giants and Padres, every team on the schedule is either close to .500 or an elite team. They play the best team in baseball nine times. The D-backs square off against the second-best team in MLB four times.

Starting tonight, they face the third-best team 3 times.

That’s 16 games against teams with an above .600 winning percentage! And six games against the hot and defending World Champion Chicago Cubs. Seven games against the team the D-backs are in direct competition with for home field advantage in the Wild Card playoff game, the Colorado Rockies.

It starts tonight, against the Nationals and (who else?) Max Scherzer with his 2.01 ERA and 0.80 WHIP.

The D-backs can’t compete with this schedule without strong contributions from Jake Lamb and Patrick Corbin. A win against Cincinnati, for a team that’s 15 games above .500, usually doesn’t carry much weight. Yesterday’s win is important because of how well Lamb and Corbin performed.

If Lamb and Corbin continue to trend upwards, the D-backs are in the playoffs. If not, the schedule will eat them alive.

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