Ok, let's first address the elephant in the room, and get what is easily the most important thing out of the way about tonight's game: am I the only person who wants to call tonight's starting pitcher for Atlanta, Morris rather than Mike?
Just me, then. Anyhoo...
Wondering where the Arizona offense has gone this homestand: four games in, we've scored a total of eight runs, and are hitting .218. In fact, this continues a season-long trend: almost one-quarter of the way through the season, the Diamondbacks are hitting better on the road than at Chase, with an OPS that's 19 points higher away from home. Almost the same thing is true for our pitchers, who are holding opponents to an OPS twelve points lower in the supposedly hitter-friendly environment at Chase. For comparison, in 2012, the splits were +54 points for our pitchers, and +44 for the batters. It's like someone installed a humidor without telling us.
Curiously, it seems to be affecting right-handers more than southpaws. The three best (semi-)regular hitters at Chase thus far are Gerardo Parra, Eric Chavez and Didi Gregorius, all of whom have a home OPS of .850 or better. Even Montero is has an OPS that's 76 points better here. But then you look at :
Road (81 PAs): .385/.475/.785, 7 HR, 22 RBI
Home (82 PAs): .229/.329/.343, 2 HR, 8 RBI
He has always done better away from Chase (career OPS is now 191 points better on the road), but the gap this year is so big, there's an Indian tribe looking to build a visitors' center beside it: almost six hundred points of OPS.
The gap seems to have shown up particularly in home-runs, where our rate per game is 36% higher on the road than at home. That has translated into an average of 4.72 runs elsewhere, almost a full run better than the 3.80 managed at Chase. Since the opening series against the Cardinals, we've managed free tacos for the home crowd only once in 17 attempts. Mind you, the lack of dubious fast-food is probably a good thing for our digestive systems, considering the last fourteen games at Chase Field have all been decided by three runs or less. I think a better promotion would be free Tums when the Diamondbacks score less than six runs.
'charmer gets to recap this one, following her social life swap on Friday. Me, being married, don't have such a thing. :) I'm probably going to pay the whole thing no attention, stock up on ice-cream, and snuggle on the couch beside Mrs. SnakePit for the DVR'd two-hour finale of Revenge. Not like I'll be missing much: just another one of the 81 games at Chase this year, nothing special here...