Rubby De La Rosa
|John Jaso - 1B||Jean Segura - 2B|
|Andrew McCutchen - CF||Jake Lamb - 3B|
|David Freese - 3B||Paul Goldschmidt - 1B|
|Starling Marte - LF||David Peralta - RF|
|Francisco Cervelli - C||Yasmany Tomas - LF|
|Gregory Polanco - RF||Nick Ahmed - SS|
|Josh Harrison - 2B||Chris Owings - CF|
|Sean Rodriguez - SS||Chris Herrmann - C|
|Juan Nicasio - RHP||Rubby De La Rosa - RHP|
Last night's defeat brings the Diamondbacks' home record to 2-6. It's not quite the worst record in the National League, but it is ahead only of the Marlins (2-7) and Braves (1-8) - hardly the kind of company we want to be keeping. And there's no doubt what the root cause of the problem is: far too many home-runs allowed by Arizona pitchers here. Here are the splits for the team over the 18 games thus far, eight at home and ten on the road.
That difference is also reflected in the opposition lines. On the road they bat a respectable .231/.310/.319, for a .630 OPS. But in Chase Field, that spikes across the board - particularly in slugging - to a line of .299/.374/.552, an OPS of .926. Put into active player terms, away from home we've faced a lineup made entirely of Darwin Barneys (career OPS, .635), but in Phoenix, we've gone up against nine Paul Goldschmidts (.927). It doesn't appear to be having the same dramatic effect on our own hitters: indeed, the majority of our HR have come on the road, 12-11. Overall, while we hit slightly better in Chase, the gap is a lot less, only 34 points of OPS (.787 compared to .753).
The average, over both teams, of 3.38 home-runs per Chase game is hefty, but it does not make it the most homer-happy park in the majors this season. That honor belongs - and this is my unsurprised face - to Coors Field, which has seen 25 in seven for a 3.57 average. Rangers Ballpark is also up there at 3.33, and Miller Park at 3.22 are also delivering a lot of souvenirs. Overall, it has been a highly offensive start, with the NL figure of 2.14 HR per game the highest since 2006, and playing into an average total of 9.38 combined runs per game, the most since 2007. We'll see if this is sustained, as we get deeper into the season.
Tonight, it's Rubby De La Rosa who takes the mound for Arizona, and who has to date made more relief appearances (three) than starts (two). He has been striking people out - De La Rosa's strikeout rate of 10.1 per nine IP this year is below only Andrew Chafin among any of our pitchers. - but the hit, walk and home-run rate have all also been above average. Given the bumpy starts we've seen in the last couple of days, from Shelby Miller and Patrick Corbin, we could do with a solid outing from Rubby. Shake the Magic 8-Ball and see what happens!