clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #8: #PitchersWhoDontRake

Let's see if life on the road treats the Diamondbacks any better than life at Chase Field.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Patrick Corbin
LHP, 0-1, 5.14)
Kenta Maeda
RHP, 1-0, 0.00
Jean Segura - 2B Enrique Hernandez - LF
Socrates Brito - CF Yasiel Puig - RF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Adrian Gonzalez - 1B
David Peralta - RF Justin Turner - 3B
Welington Castillo - C Howie Kendrick - 2B
Jake Lamb - 3B Trayce Thompson - CF
Yasmany Tomas - LF Corey Seager - SS
Patrick Corbin - LHP A.J. Ellis - C
Nick Ahmed - SS Kenta Maeda - RHP

We need to watch out for Maeda at the plate too, since he homered in his major-league debut last week - at Petco, of all places. We saw on Sunday the damage a good hitting pitcher can do, in Jake Arrieta's two-run shot, but it has been a long while since the Diamondbacks have seen one of their own go deep. The only pitcher to homer for Arizona since July 2011, was Wade Miley, and even he was close to three years ago - April 22, 2013 against the San Francisco Giants. Since then, the score has been 9-0 for the opposition, as follows:

  1. Shelby Miller, 2013-06-06 for STL
  2. Andrew Cashner, 2013-07-27 for SDP
  3. Jhoulys Chacin, 2013-09-20 for COL
  4. Travis Wood, 2014-04-21 for CHC
  5. Jordan Lyles, 2014-04-30 for COL
  6. Madison Bumgarner, 2014-07-13 for SFG
  7. Matt Harvey, 2015-07-11 for NYM
  8. Tim Hudson, 2015-09-08 for SFG
  9. Jake Arrieta, 2016-04-10 for CHC

It's been a steep fall from the golden, halcyon days of #PitchersWhoRake in 2011, when the Diamondbacks' arms put up a credible OPS of .480, including no less than four home-runs for the year [or, as Trevor Story calls it, "My first MLB series"] Over the last couple full seasons, we've managed only .282 and .284, and in 2015 narrowly escaped - as in, the very final pitcher PA of the season - going the entire year without an extra-base hit.  We did still post a K:BB rate of 122:9. Pitcher offense as a whole though has been trending down a bit, from .361 to .331 over the same 2011-2015 period, but has started brightly in 2016; the current .382 OPS would be the best since 1980.

If today's line-up is familiar, that's because it is the third time we've seen it, in only eight games (with the generic "Pitcher", of course). This is a remarkable degree of stability, consider that, over all of last season, the most popular line-up used by Chip Hale was only seen a total of five times in 162 games. I guess this perhaps speaks to what feels like a relatively shallow bench: there aren't too many cases where you can swap players out, without seeming to take a significant hit to offense and/or defense. Hopefully, both sides will have chosen to travel, and let's give Maeda a warm welcome on Dodger Home Opening Day, and give him a present of a non-zero ERA.