PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 23: General view of action as starting pitcher Joe Saunders #34 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches agaisnt the Los Angeles Dodgers during the MLB game at Chase Field on May 23, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Home is supposed to be comforting.
The old adage is win at home, win half your games on the road, and you'll be in good shape. Yet, for some reason the Diamondbacks cannot take advantage of it this year. They somehow have a worse record at home than on the road, where they're just a tick over .500. If they can get their home record shaped up, then they might still have a chance, here.
So what exactly is the problem at home?
It's not the offense, not exactly. Overall the Diamondbacks have scored 219 runs, and 105 of them have been at Chase Field. Neither of those numbers are particularly inspiring, but neither are particularly crippling either. 219 runs is below average (league average is 231.7), but not awful. They certainly need to score more runs, especially at home, but you can make-up for a deficient offense with great pitching.
Unfortunately, the Diamondbacks have also been lacking in this regard. Overall they've allowed 238 runs this season, so even if they were league average on scoring runs they'd still be below .500. But they're even worse at home with pitching. Of the 238 runs allowed so far this season, 140 of them have been at Chase. The balance is so out of whack at home that they've almost had no chance at winning.
So then why are they so bad at home? Is it just better opponents? That might be part of the reason, as the Diamondbacks have played the Giants, Dodgers, Braves, and Phillies at home, but faced the likes of Padres, Rockies, and Marlins away. It can't be completely the answer, though, because they've had bad teams play at Chase Field, and played good ones on the road.
It might be an easy assumption that the crowd doesn't create a hospitable environment for the home squad, but if that were true then the D-backs would have been just as bad at the beginning of the season in 2011. Yet last year the team had .630 winning percentage at home, and have retained most of the same team into this year.
It seems bizarre to me that a team that can get a .500 record on the road could perform so terribly at home, so it might be easier to assume it's all just luck and it'll even out over the season. I'm not saying they'll return to .600 ball at home, but even break-even would be acceptable. The problem with this answer is that it's too easy. It might be true, but I only feel that for lack of an alternative hypothesis.
So what do you think? Why are the D-backs so bad at home this year?