Ralph Freso/Getty Images
By Jay Jaffe
October 05, 2017

Had the Diamondbacks won the NL Wild Card Game in a more orderly fashion, this space would be occupied by presumptive Division Series Game 1 starter Robbie Ray, but when Zack Greinke frittered away a six-run lead in the fourth inning, manager Torey Lovullo called upon the 25-year-old lefty, whose 2 1/3-inning stint rules him out for Friday's series opener. That leaves Lovullo with a choice of 27-year-old lefty Patrick Corbin or one of two righties, 27-year-old Zack Godley or 24-year-old Taijuan Walker—none of whom has postseason experience.

All had very good seasons; Godley has the lowest ERA and FIP of the trio (3.37 and 3.41, respectively) as well as the highest strikeout rate (9.6 per nine). Within the small sample sizes, it was Walker (3.49 ERA, 4.04 FIP) who pitched best against the Dodgers (3.24 ERA in 16 2/3 innings), but overall, he was far less likely to deliver a quality start (43%, compared to Godley's 56% and Corbin's 59%), which could be a factor given the need for further bullpen support. With the Dodgers having reversed their previous woes against lefties this year—they hit for a .789 OPS against them, compared to .764 against righties—and with Corbin having posted a 4.70 ERA in September, the assignment will probably fall to a righty, but all three pitchers could be important if the Diamondbacks are to play deep into October.

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