|Ender Inciarte - CF||Chris Heisey - CF|
|Jake Lamb - 3B||Yasiel Puig - RF|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Adrian Gonzalez - 1B|
|Yasmany Tomas - RF||Howie Kendrick - 2B|
|David Peralta - LF||Alex Guerrero - LF|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia - C||Yasmani Grandal - C|
|Nick Ahmed - SS||Enrique Hernandez - SS|
|Robbie Ray - LHP||Alberto Callaspo - 3B|
|Cliff Pennington - 2B||Carlos Frias - RHP|
The irresistible force which has been Robbie Ray takes the mound for the Diamondbacks tonight. Well, you'd think he was irresistible, if you only looked at his ERA, but last time was about as unconvincing a shutout from a starter as you'll ever get to see. Among the 184 5+ inning, zero runs starts this year in the majors, Ray's Game Score of 58 is above only two. It took Ray 110 pitches to get through five innings, on six hits and a walk; no other pitcher has required even 100 for a start of five shutout innings this year. The last time such a start took 110 pitches? Almost a decade ago, when Noah Lowry needed 115 for the Giants.
So, yeah. Clearly room for improvement, in terms of efficiency particularly, though the same could be said about many in our rotation. The Diamondbacks, in fact, are the worst in the National League. requiring an average of 3.90 pitcher per plate appearance. League average is 3.77, which may not seem much, but it does add up, especially as we have seen more PA than just about anyone else - the Phillies have one more, coming into today. Indeed worth comparing us to the Phillies, as they have virtually the same number of PA, but are exactly at that 3.77 league average. In total, their staff has thrown almost three hundred fewer pitches than the D-backs.
This explains why our bullpen has been wheezing, and why our rotation is currently working on a streak of 18 straight games without having got through seven innings. The last such outing was Chase Anderson, back on May 20th. We've managed only ten such games all year, tied with the Marlins for the fewest. It shouldn't be a surprise that this list is led by teams doing well in the standings (St. Louis has most, with 23), while the bottom five are are in the bottom six of the standings. The other team is Cincinnati, who 25-31, despite have had 22 seven IP outings. I'm sure there's a reason for that, but time prevents me from digging further now. Anyway: Robbie? Throw seven, willya?