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Second-half Surge

Quick: which Diamondback leads the team in home-runs since the All-Star break? Jackson? Young? Reynolds? No: the answer, probably surprisingly, is Chris Snyder, who has six homers in 72 at-bats, a ratio that's positively Dunnian. His overall line is .264/.426/.569, an OPS of .995, which is also the best of any Arizona players with 30 or more at-bats [thereby excluding The Treadmill]. That represents an uptick of 216 points in OPS over his first-half figure, and is a key component in why the team's total figure is 58 points better. This, in turn, explains why we're 20-12 in the second-half - only one game below what we were after the first 32 games of the year and the incredible surge there.

He's not alone, however: his colleague behind the playe, Miguel Montero, had had an even bigger turnaround, adding over three hundred points to his OPS, and is almost level with Snyder. Miggy does, however, have a BABIP of .381, so may have been a little lucky: Chris's BABIP is only .289, actually lower than his first-half figure, so looks to be legitimate. It's his eye that has improved the most: before the break, he had 26 walks in 226 PA's, but he already has a team-leading 21 after it, in only 95 PA's. Here's the full list of players with 30+ ABs before and after the break, with the changes in OPS. However, credit should also be given to Clark (.820 OPS) and, of course Dunn (1.129!) for their second-half contributions.

Player 1st OPS 2nd OPS Difference
Montero .687 .990 +303
Burke .521 .757 +236
Snyder .779 .995 +216
Young .696 .852 +156
Drew .763 .884 +121
Romero .586 .655 +71
Jackson .846 .898 +52
Hudson .816 .818 +2
Reynolds .828 .755 -73
Tracy .821 .665 -156
Ojeda .731 .556 -175

The same can't really be said about the pitching, where our second-half ERA is almost identical to the one from the first half: it's six points higher, at 3.98, compared to 3.92. That apparent parity does conceal a split, with the starters having reduced their figure from 3.97 to 3.55, while the bullpen has turned sharply for the worse, their ERA increasing from 3.83 to 5.00. That perhaps explains why the relief corps haven't won a game in well over a month: July 10 was the last time, and they're 0-5 since. The starters, over the same period, have a record of 21-9.

We'll see what transpires down the stretch. If I was to make a prediction or two, I'd expect, Montero, Drew and Young to cool off, based on BABIP, while Tracy and Ojeda should improve. On the pitching side, it's comforting to realize that Lyon's implosion to a 12.27 second-half ERA has apparently largely been due to an insane BABIP of .468 - I think that's the highest I've ever seen. Dan Haren (.372) is also well above the NL average of .302. On the other hand, the Petit Unit's .197 is likely almost as unsustainable, so a regression for him seems due. Just as long as it doesn't happen at SnakePit Fest on Saturday, we'll be happy!