The 2013 Diamondbacks in the record books: Pitching

Ziegler, Ziegling like he's never Ziegled before. - Stephen Lam

While Paul Goldschmidt had a season for the ages, there wasn't anyone who was quite as outstanding on the pitching front. Still, let's review the numbers and see if any will be entering the record books.

Wins: Patrick Corbin, 14
Corbin fell short of cracking the franchise leader-board, needing two more wins to tie for 10th place (including with Wade Miley last season). It seemed highly-likely on June 2, after he won his ninth game in 11 starts, to become the second Arizona pitcher to open the year 9-0, after Brandon Webb in 2008.. But Patrick would not win again for seven starts, despite a 3.27 ERA over the intervening six weeks. After three consecutive W's around the All-Star Break, he picked up only two in his last 12 starts. It was the first time since 2010, and sixth overall, that the D-backs did not have a 15-game winner.

ERA: Patrick Corbin, 3.41
Similarly, Corbin was well outside the top ten among qualifying pitchers, coming in 18th - you'd need a sub-three ERA (2.98, to be specific) to get on the board. This is mostly due to Randy Johnson occupying the top five spots, which is particularly amazing, considering the much greater run environment in which he played - in 2002, NL teams scored almost half a run per game more than they did this season. Corbin actually did have that for the great majority of the season, and as late as Sep 17. But allowing 15 earned runs over 11.1 innings through his final three outings ended any chance of a top ten finish for Corbin.

Strikeouts: Patrick Corbin, 178
The last Diamondback even to reach 200 K's in a season was Dan Haren's 223 in 2009. Corbin's number is third-best since, behind Ian Kennedy's 2011 and 2012 totals of 198 and 187 respectively. The former is tenth on our all-time list which, I'm sure you'll be astonished to hear, is also dominated by the Big Unit: he and Curt Schilling own every one of the first seven places - and they may never be displaced. No major-leaguer since has matched Randy Johnson's 290 from 2004, currently seventh; Yu Darvish came closer than anyone this year (helped by 28 K's over his two outings against us), but even he still fell 13 short.

Saves: Heath Bell, 15
It's also the third time the Diamondbacks save leader for the year hasn't posted more than fifteen. The situation is quite like 2010, when Juan Gutierrez had 15, with Chad Qualls posting a dozen, and Aaron Heilman six. This year, behind Bell, we had Brad Ziegler on 13 and J.J. Putz on six. The other season without a single obvious stopper was 2005, where Jose Valverde (15 saves), Brandon Lyon (14) and Brian Bruney (12) shared closer's duties. Putz's contribution left him in second place on the career list for the Diamondbacks; he now needs 16 more to pass Valverde's 98 and move into first. Will he have the job? Will he be healthy enough? Tune in next year...

Team blown saves: 29
If not a formal category, certainly one of the defining numbers of the 2013 campaign, blowing away (pun not intended) the previous high-water mark of 24 in 2010, and comfortably more than double the number (13) from the franchise low just two seasons ago. The oddity is that the D-backs ended up winning most, with the team going 15-10 overall (some games had multiple blown saves); that's just three more defeats than in 2011, when we had that franchise low, but went 5-7 in those contests. Overall in the NL this year, 36% of blown saves came in team wins: the D-backs were at 66% (19 of 29).

Other categories where one of this year's Diamondbacks cracked the top 10

Walks per nine IP: Brandon McCarthy, 1.40
Say what you like about McCarthy, he didn't had out many free passes. That was the lowest walk-rate since the notoriously stingy Curt Schilling in 2002 - though you may be surprised to find that the franchise leader in this category is Brian 'let me iron my face' Anderson, who walked 1.04 per nine in our franchise's debut campaign. Even Wade Miley last year was at 1.71: Brandon had one spell of six starts, covering 42 innings, where he walked one batter. Most amusingly, it was that paragon of plate discipline, Matt Cain.

Appearances: Brad Ziegler, 78
If it seemed like Ziegler was Ziegling just about every other day this year... Well, that's because he was. Only one reliever in team history has made more appearances in a season, and let's hope Ziegler doesn't suffer the same fate. That was Oscar Villarreal, who played in an insane 86 games in 2003, but was limited to 18 and 13.2 major-league innings for us the following two seasons. [Though he's still playing: Villarreal was in the Red Sox Triple-A team at the start of this year, before going to Mexico] That's one up on Ziegler's tally from last season, and since 2012, the Rays' Joel Peralta (156) is the only pitcher to appear more often than Brad.

Wild pitches: Trevor Cahill, 17
You can also throw in Patrick Corbin and Wade Miley, who were tied for sixth with 13; however, Cahill surpassed them all, matching Brandon Webb in 2004 for the most wild-pitches ever thrown by a Diamondback in a season. It looked for a while that Cahill might end up with sole possession of the crown, but he reined things in late: he tied Webb on Sep 10, then was wild-free over his final three starts, and had just the one in September. Still a a long way behind the modern master, A.J. Burnett, whose 25 wild pitches in 2011 remains the most by anybody in the majors over the past two decades.

Win Probability: Brad Ziegler, +3.67
Finally, this was a surprise. The only Diamondback pitcher with a higher WP in a season over the past decade, was Ian Kennedy in 2011 (4.57). But it's likely less of a shock, when you hear that in almost half his appearances (37), Ziegler improved our WP by 6% or more; he had only eight which decreased our WP by as much. Likely Cy Young winner, Clayton Kershaw, was the sole NL pitcher with a higher WP on the season, and Ziegler also finished the year a very long way ahead of the Diamondbacks' runner-up (Josh Collmenter 1.91) and leading starting pitcher (Patrick Corbin, 1.63).

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