FanPost

Worst Start Ever? Hardly.

This year, the Diamondbacks played more games before winning their second game than any season in their history. A lot of people on this site have called this the worst start ever, and comparisons to 2004 have been made. However, this isn't the worst start in franchise history by any sensible measurement. Of course, for that matter, neither was 2004.

The worst start in franchise history is easily 1998. That is to be expected. By April 22nd, the Diamondbacks were already 10 games out of first, with a record of 6-15. But that record was an improvement after being 2-13 not long before, with the losses by an average of 4.5 runs. While the Diamondbacks would finish with a better record than the Devil Rays in 1998, the start was terrible, and it was only a hot streak towards the end of the season (including a 7 game win streak) that kept the team from reaching 100 losses.

1999, despite being the best regular season in franchise history, didn't start off that well, with the Diamondbacks not getting over .500 until April 20th, and not holding a lead in the division until the end of May. To put things in perspective, the Diamondbacks can still surpass the start in 1999, despite losing 7 of 9 to start the season.

By April 20th in 2000, the Diamondbacks were 12-4 and led by 3 games in the division, and by mid-May were 16 games over .500. It didn't matter, as they played less than .500 baseball the rest of the way, collapsed at the end of the season, and finished in 3rd. A hot start isn't everything.

The 2001 Diamondbacks didn't go over .500 for good until May 13th. The 2002 team was swept by the Padres in the third series of the season. The 2003 team started 2-9, but recovered to win 84 games. The 2004 team didn't start horribly, and were 12-14 in early May. In 2005, the team was 9 games over .500 in late May, and in first place at the end of July, but finished with a losing record. The 2007 team finished with the best record in the NL, but after a 7-2 start collapsed to below .500 towards the end of April. In 2011, the D-backs were 7 games under .500 on May 13th.

Does how you start matter? Not really. In the 5 seasons where the D-backs have won the division, there's never been a particularly good start. The sky isn't falling. Most teams have a stretch like this at some point during the season. But everything is magnified at the start of the year, even more so than the end of the year. At the end of the year, there's the sense that the players are tired and just ran out of gas. No such excuse at the start of the year.

The season isn't lost. It isn't the worst start ever. Step back from the edge, take a deep breath, and be thankful that we have Paul Goldschmidt and not Travis Lee manning first base.

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