Record: 54-68. Pace: 72-90. Change on last season: -9
Five games. Five defeats. Runs scored: 12. Runs conceded: 43. I think it's safe to say that Hell Week lived down to expectations as, following the two wins over the Dodgers, the team imploded into the worst streak of results for the Diamondbacks since June 7-11, 2006. There, we dropped the series finale against - hey! - the Phillies, 3-7, and then the Mets swept us in a four-game series, by scores of 1-7, 6-10, 0-5 and 2-15. The NL East is not our friend.
Hope sprung briefly after the Diamondbacks pulled back from 3-0 down to tie the game in the top of the fourth, but it didn't last long. The Phillies retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning, and pounded out nine answered runs. They secured the sweep over us in convincing fashion, outscoring us by the margin of 25-5 over the three games. Philadelphia didn't just beat Arizona, they did so with their hands tied behind their backs - by the time this was over, we were face down on the floor, while they moonwalked out of here. Ladies and gentlemen: "And that's kicking your ass."
Details after the jump, if I can stop watching Drew Barrymore clips on YouTube. Which, trust me, are infinitely more entertaining than the prospect of poking the corpse of this one with my recap stick.The starting pitching, a beacon of strength over much of the first half of the season, continued to implode. Our rotation's ERA in the first half, even with the Triple-Headed Beast of Webb Replacement, was 4.06, but after the All-Star Break, it has ballooned to 4.76. Before it, we had 53 quality starts in 89 attempts, a 60% rate, but during this last time round the rotation, not one of our starters even managed to get to the end of the sixth inning, three earned runs or not. Their collective line over that period:
AZ Starters: 24.1 IP, 40 H, 11 HR, 8 BB, 26 ER, 9.62 ERA, 0-5 record
Say what you like about the offense [and I have a few choice epithets for them myself], you won't win many games when your starters allow more than a run per inning, a home-run almost every other frame, and possess a WHIP only infinitesimally short of two.
Doug Davis continued to give up more walks than he should, four in five innings tonight, two of which came around to score. The equation is really quite simple. When he walks four-plus batters in a start this year, Davis has only one win in eleven such appearances and has an ERA of 4.95. In the 14 starts where Doug has walked three or fewer hitters (14 starts), his ERA is 3.02, and he has recorded six victories. Free base-runners are an additional burden which appear to push his usual tightrope juggling act off its high-wire.
Tonight, he wasn't helped by the B-bullpen, who blew the game open in the sixth, Leo Rosales and Daniel Schlereth combining to allow five runs in that one frame. The first three Phillie batters all got hits off Rosales, including a lead-off homer, and Schlereth then allowed both inherited runners to score, as well as a couple of his own, on another long-ball, this one a three-run shot. Though the two earned runs tagged to him were the first he'd allowed since his second call-up, he has allowed five walks in 3.2 innings of work. Despite a great curveball, he just doesn't seem at this point to have the command of it necessary to stick in the majors.
Moving on to the offense, what is it with Gerardo Parra and double-plays? Even though this was only his 83rd game, he hit into his team-leading fiftteenth - nobody else has even made it out of single-figures at this point. Today's offering ended the first inning, and meant he had GIDP'd 15 times in 79 opportunities, a 19% rate, usually reserved for catchers (NL average is only 11%). It's not that Parra is slow, but he just creates a lot of ground-balls. His GO/AO ratio before today was 1.84, ranking Parra fifth among all qualifying NL hitters. Oh, and for good measure, Parra flew into a double-play in the third, Ryan Roberts being the other half of the twin-killing on both occasions.
If you just looked at the hit totals, you might be fooled into thinking this was quite a close game, as Philadelphia only beat us 12-10 - from which you can probably tell than we were not facing a left-handed starter today. Of course, three of theirs left Federal Bailout Park, accounting for six of the runs, while only two of Arizona's even got the runner past first base. Stephen Drew, Mark Reynolds, Roberts and Chad Tracy each had a pair, but once again, the Diamondbacks somehow didn't manage to work a single walk.
In fact, we went the entire series in Philadelphia without one. The last free pass to an Arizona hitter came in the ninth inning against Atlanta on Monday, since when there have been 96 at-bats without a base on balls. In the past four years only two National League clubs have had three entirely walkless games in a row - interestingly, one of them was not only earlier this month, it was the Houston Astros, the team we will be facing next. In case you're wondering, the last NL team to go four straight was the 1976 Expos.
Here's a re-enactment of today's Fangraph. The role of the Phillies will be played by Drew Barrymore, while the part of the Diamondbacks is portrayed by five nameless stuntmen.
Master of his domain: Chad Tracy, +10.7%
God-emperor of suck: Doug Davis, -38.1%
Dishonorable mention: Gerardo 'the rally-killer' Parra, -14.8%
Surprisingly brisk Gameday Thread, with kishi rolling past three digits, and soco sneaking past 'Skins by a single comment into second-place. Also present, to some degree or other: snakecharmer, BattleMoses, hotclaws, ZonaBacks10, dima1109, mrssoco, Azreous, 4 Corners Fan, Wailord, pygalgia, katers and Zephon. Credit to all of them for sticking around. Here's to things being better in Houston, and they probably will be, simply because they really can't get much worse.