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Game #145 Preview: 9/15, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres

The Diamondbacks have, for the second season running, gone into a bit of a late tailspin.

Hitting into triple plays like this is, I dare to suggest, not a good thing.
Hitting into triple plays like this is, I dare to suggest, not a good thing.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The La Russa Heartbreakometer

What is this?

Heart Left WWWWWWWWW Heart right
Tyson Ross
RHP, 10-10, 3.24
Jhoulys Chacin
RHP, 0-1, 2.70
Wil Myers - 1B A.J. Pollock - CF
Yangervis Solarte - 3B Ender Inciarte - RF
Matt Kemp - RF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Justin Upton - LF David Peralta - LF
Jedd Gyorko - SS Welington Castillo - C
Cory Spangenberg - 2B Brandon Drury - 3B
Austin Hedges - C Chris Owings - 2B
Tyson Ross - RHP Nick Ahmed - SS
Travis Jankowski - CF Jhoulys Chacin - RHP

Since the end of the Cincinnati series, when we briefly poked our noses above .500, the Diamondbacks are 6-15, the second worst record in the majors, ahead of only the Braves. It has been a disappointing collapse: while we are already assured of more wins than in 2014, recent form suggests it won't be as many as was once hoped. If we play the final 18 games like we have the last 18, we'll go 6-12, and end up at just 74 wins. If still a ten-game improvement over last year, that will be well short of what we were hoping after we played the Reds, and leave Tony La Russa's heart shattered into a million tiny pieces.

On the surface, it has not been the offense that's to blame for the current run. When we finished the Cincinnati series, our team batting line for the year was .265/.325/.410, for a .735 OPS. Over the 21 games since, our team list has been .264/.317/.422, so the OPS is actually a little higher, at .739. However, that just hasn't translated into more runs: quite the opposite, in fact. Despite that slight uptick in OPS, the average has dropped from 4.59 runs per game to 3.86. I don't have easy access to the numbers, but if I'd to guess, I suspect our average with runners in scoring position has cratered over the past four or so weeks. Things like hitting into double/triple plays don't help!

This is not at all to say that our pitching is immune from criticism. Our team ERA was fractionally below four after the Reds series, at 3.99; it has been more than half a run worse, a5 4.58. And that excludes horrendous blow-ups in which errors led to unearned runs (hello, A.J. Schugel). All told, the runs per games has spiked by over a run, from 4.26 to 5.42. And It's the starting pitching which has been responsible for a lot of that, with a collective ERA over the past 21 games of 4.94. Patrick Corbin is the sole starter with more than a single win  It would be really nice to finish the season strong, and go into the winter with momentum; current performance on either side isn't going to do it.