Preview: Game #137, Diamondbacks vs. Blue Jays

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another journeyman starter for the offense to face. Raise the alert level to Defcon Three...

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Todd Redmond
RHP, 2-2, 4.30
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Wade Miley
LHP, 9-9, 3.55 ERA

Diamondbacks line-up

  1. Adam Eaton, LF
  2. A.J. Pollock, CF
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Martin Prado, 3B
  5. Aaron Hill, 2B
  6. Miguel Montero, C
  7. Gerardo Parra, RF
  8. Didi Gregorius, SS
  9. Wade Miley, P

Seems like Gibson was kinda miffed by the offense's recent struggles after last night, continuing a recent trend where we've made journeymen pitchers look almost unhittable - first Yusmeiro Petit, then Esmil Rogers.

"Everybody is that damn good? C'mon. Everybody isn't Cy Young. And you know what, sometimes you have to beat Cy Young. You have to figure out a way to do it. That part is disappointing. Not to say they didn't make some good pitches. Not to say if you do everything you are not going to lose. But overall, we're not happy with the way it has been coming out. You have to grind a little harder, make it a little tougher on them."

It's something Nick Piecoro wrote a bit more about, pointing out that with the offensive roster apparently largely set for next season, there may be limited opportunity for improvement in this area. I can kinda see where he's coming from, but as I was discussing with shoe in the Fanposts recently, I think that full seasons of good production from a healthy Hill and settled Prado, combined with a rebound from Montero, will be significant helps. Eaton, too, should give us better production, and simply not having Kubel around is addition by subtraction.

But what I think the 2013 team has shown, is that lower strikeouts do not necessarily mean more offense. Our K-rate has decreased from 20.6% to 18.2%, but the Diamondbacks are scoring about a quarter of a run per game less than they did last season. That's because the decrease in strikeouts has, unsurprisingly, been accompanied by a decrease in extra-base hit rate, where the team has dropped from 4th to 10th this season, and our walks are also down, even as Goldschmidt heads towards a likely franchise record in the department. And, of course, the twin-killings have seen a sharp jump, proving that good things do not always happen when you put the ball in play.

I'm trying to figure out if there is a statistical basis for the team apparently struggling, against starting pitchers they would normally be expected to hit well. Not sure quite how I'd do it. Maybe plot opponent's Game Score achieved versus us, against seasonal ERA+? There doesn't seem to be a nice split available, like there is for "left-handed pitchers", say. What I did find is that the team does fairly well against pitchers classified as both power and finesse, coming in fourth by OPS; it's the ones in the middle that give us problems, were we were 11th. The same goes for flyball/groundball. The extremes, we handle well. The middle-ground? Not so much.

Anyway, Miley tries to reach double digits and get a winning record, both rarities achieved pretty much only by Patrick Corbin otherwise. We're now only half a game in front of the Nationals, and falling behind them would really be the final nail in any hopes of the wild-card.

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