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Game #43 Preview: 5/24, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Chicago Cubs

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It's Fedora Day at Chase Field. Frankly, I'm more concerned about it being Beat the Cubs Day.

Francois Durand/Getty Images
Jason Hammel
RHP, 3-1, 2.70
Jeremy Hellickson
RHP, 1-3, 5.52
Dexter Fowler - CF Ender Inciarte - RF
Kris Bryant - 3B A.J. Pollock - CF
Anthony Rizzo - 1B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Starlin Castro - SS David Peralta - LF
Miguel Montero - C Aaron Hill - 3B
Jorge Soler - RF Jordan Pacheco - C
Chris Coghlan - LF Chris Owings - 2B
Jason Hammel - RHP Nick Ahmed - SS
Jonathan Herrera - 2B Jeremy Hellickson - RHP

It may not quite seem like it, but last night was only the second time we've lost a game this season, when we were leading after seven innings. You might think the other case was the one which cost Addison Reed his job as closer against Washington, but in that one, we were actually ried after seven, scoring the go-ahead run in the eighth before Reed's meltdown. The other eighth inning lead coughed up was on May 9 against the Padres. We were 2-1 up, when Oliver Perez and Brad Ziegler combined to allow two runs, and though we fought back to tie it with our last out on Danny Dorn's double off Craig Kimbrel - which you probably do remember - we lost 6-4 in 12 innings.

Last night continued a terrible season for Perez. Is it small sample size or is there something wrong? I'm reluctant to throw him out on the basis of 10 poor innings, given a .433 BABIP. Since becoming a full-time reliever he has generally been solid and effective: 2012-2014, including good work last year for us, he has 162 appearances and a 123 ERA+.. But he doesn't seem to know where the ball is going right now: in those ten innings he has issued seven free-passes, four by walks and three HBP. He still seems good against left-handers (10:1 K:BB ratio), but 15 of 28 right-handed bats have reached base, which is obviously not good.

It certainly wasn't a great circumstance, with limited arms available for Chip Hale, but I do think he could have managed better, both Friday and Saturday. Mind you, when your team has now blown nine saves and only converted five, the problems are not necessarily managerial. That 36% is ahead of only the Marlins (33%), with the next worst team a long way ahead of Arizona, the Reds at 58%. No team has had its bullpen involved in more decisions than the D-backs (18). And no team has more relief losses than the D-backs either (10). We'll see what happens when David Hernandez gets back, and whether there will be changes in roles, albeit perhaps not immediately.