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Game #46 Preview: 5/27, Arizona Diamondbacks @ St. Louis Cardinals

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Arizona will try to avoid a sweep at the hands of surging St. Louis, at Busch Stadium tonight.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Josh Collmenter
RHP, 3-5, 5.19
Lance Lynn
RHP, 3-4, 3.46
Ender Inciarte - LF Kolten Wong - 2B
A.J. Pollock - CF Matt Carpenter - 3B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Matt Holliday - LF
Yasmany Tomas - 3B Jhonny Peralta - SS
Mark Trumbo - RF Randal Grichuk - CF
Cliff Pennington - 2B Yadier Molina - C
Tuffy Gosewisch - C Mark Reynolds - 1B
Nick Ahmed - SS Jason Heyward - RF
Josh Collmenter - RHP Lance Lynn - RHP

The Diamondbacks outscored the Cardinals in yesterday's contest, 11-8, with the home team also helping Arizona, committing three errors to our zero. We had more extra-base hits, the same number of walks, and had more total bases, by an 18-14 margin, than the Cardinals. But we still ended up losing. How? Timing, mostly. We were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, and left 10 men on base. The Cardinals were 3-for-9 and did a much better job of bunching their hits together, leaving only four men out there. The D-backs now rank 10th in the league for OPS with RISP, though our .743 OPS is actually better than the .677 with the base3s empty.

Part of our offensive problem has been, we hit much better with two outs. Our OPS there of .773 is almost a hundred points higher (.678) than with no outs. The latter hits are considerably more valuable, because they are more likely to come around to score. This year, a single with the bases empty and no outs boots run expectancy from 0.48 to 0.85 runs, so is "worth" 0.37 runs. A single with two outs increases run expectancy from 0.10 to 0.22, a boost less than a third of the same hit at the start of the inning. We need to do a better job with our lead-off guys in an inning getting on base. Here's a stark stat: our very first batter in 45 games so far, has taken one walk. ONE.

Having seen bad Archie make an unwanted appearance last night, we need to see if bad Josh follows suit. As shoewizard has pointed out, Collmenter's velocity, never great, has been on a downward tack. His cutter averaged 86.8 mph last season, but has lost 1.5 miles per hour this season, to 85.3 mph. His change is down by about the same (79.3 to 77.4) and his curve now floats in at an average of 71.9 mph. Now, Josh has never exactly been blowing the ball past people, yet there is a certain point below which deception won't work, because hitters have enough time to "guess again". They seem to have been doing that with success in Collmenter's last few outings.