And here you thought you'd get some sort of description of what you were about to read then I pull this crap. I just smack you upside the head with the data and let you sort it out.
Not sure what you're looking at? Did you READ the title of this article? Am I being a little too "in your face" about your reasoning skills, probably but this isn't about me!
So it seems the team is especially good at putting together a rally in the 8th and extra innings, but the bulk of the action happens in innings 1-6. The OBP is over .300 for all of those innings and they're also batting above .260 for those same innings. Those 66.6% of innings account for 76.6% of the scoring.
What is going on in the later innings to account for this drop? Lets look at the teams numbers for each time through facing pitching.
|vs. SP 1st||57||543||495||53||121||15||4||10||49||1||40||111||0.244||0.304||0.352||0.655||174||9||0.295||82||90|
|vs. SP 2nd||57||494||456||62||131||19||3||18||61||1||30||95||0.287||0.335||0.461||0.796||210||8||0.329||119||116|
|vs. SP 3rd||56||375||342||56||91||18||3||14||56||0||26||63||0.266||0.316||0.459||0.775||157||9||0.286||113||105|
|vs. SP 4th+||16||30||27||3||6||0||0||1||3||0||2||6||0.222||0.3||0.333||0.633||9||2||0.25||76||67|
|vs. RP 1st||57||781||690||80||177||43||3||9||78||3||71||173||0.257||0.323||0.367||0.689||253||14||0.324||92||105|
|vs. RP 2nd||7||32||27||6||9||2||0||2||5||0||5||2||0.333||0.438||0.63||1.067||17||1||0.304||193||167|
|vs. RP 3rd+||1||2||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||-100||-100|
First time through isn't great but they're killing starting pitching the 2nd and 3rd time through the order. This is actually exceptionally good news. It means the team is making adjustments to the pitching, something Ward and Grace should be applauded for. Last year the team batting average for first, second, and third time through was .250, .244, and .245 respectively. Clearly they weren't making the adjustments that this team is.
So what about those 7th and 9th innings? Well for the 9th inning you have to consider they've won 15 games at home which wouldn't count toward their 9th inning statistics. Plus everyone is tired, they wanna go home, and Tony La Russa needs a nap. The 7th inning is a different matter.
Judging by the numbers relief pitching and starting pitching the 4th+ time around is causing them trouble. They're only batting .257 the first time they see a relief pitcher and a measly .222 against starting pitching the 4th time around. The 7th inning is typically when you see relievers or if the starting pitcher is dealing they'll stay in the game to save the bullpen.
Ok, so who is responsible for this 7th inning mess? (But is it really a mess if it's better than last years BA?)
Welp, that would be Nick Ahmed, Paul Goldschmidt (yes THAT Paul Goldschmidt), Ender Inciarte, and Mark Trumbo. All 4 of them have over 20 plate appearances in the 7th inning and all are batting under .210 in the 7th inning. Goldie comes the closest with .208.
This was a hastily thrown together article with very little cohesiveness to it's thought process.... and you expect a conclusion? Stop making this about me!
But no, seriously Turner Ward and Mark Grace are doing a good job.