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Game #51 Preview: 6/2, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Atlanta Braves

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Hoping for better from the Diamondbacks on all fronts this evening. Face it, the game can't really go much worse, can it?

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Shelby Miller
RHP, 5-2, 1.48
Josh Collmenter
RHP, 3-5, 5.05
Jace Peterson - 2B Ender Inciarte - RF
Andrelton Simmons - SS A.J. Pollock - CF
Freddie Freeman - 1B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Nick Markakis - RF David Peralta - LF
Juan Uribe - 3B Yasmany Tomas - 3B
A.J. Pierzynski - C Jordan Pacheco - C
Jonny Gomes - LF Chris Owings - 2B
Todd Cunningham - CF Nick Ahmed - SS
Shelby Miller - RHP Josh Collmenter - RHP

How our Opening Day starter has fallen, and how glad Josh will be to see the calendar turn to June. In April, he posted the first complete-game shutout in the major-leagues, and had a 2.76 ERA for the month. May has seen that figure almost triple, with an 8.14 ERA, no quality starts in five attempts, and one of the worst outing in D-backs team history, on May 11, when he retired four batters and was charged with nine earned runs. His last couple of outings have been acceptable - both allowing two runs on six hits - but they also both lasted only five innings, and that has been happening far too often out of our rotation thus far.

We have had 32 starts where the pitcher has recorded at least one out after the fifth inning; only two teams in the majors have had fewer similar starts than that, with the Rockies unsurprisingly the sole National League team. This, along with a significant number of extra-inning contests, plays into a heavy load for the bullpen. Our relievers have already thrown 182.2 innings, which is the most in the National League: it's 11 more than than even the next-highest (the Rockies). It means they've pitched about 27 more innings, faced 103 extra batters and thrown an estimated 388 additional pitches than the National League average bullpen.

It probably helps having a number of converted starters in there: Andrew Chafin, Daniel Hudson, Randall Delgado, Vidal Nuno and Oliver Perez have all been members of major-league rotations at some point (all but Perez and Hudson as recently as last year). That said, I'm not sure why Chip Hale appears to averse to rotating in additional fresh arms to help out with the load. We could have used a mop-up arm last night, rather than forcing Perez into a longer outing than any since he stopped being a starter. We could certainly use one of Collmenter's long outings this evening, with nine games to play before the next scheduled off-day.