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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #64: Of late losses

Perhaps surprisingly, last night was only the second time this season the Diamondbacks have lost, when leading after six innings.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Jose Fernandez
RHP, 9-2, 2.29
Zack Godley
RHP, 0-0, N/A
Derek Dietrich - 2B Jean Segura - 2B
Martin Prado - 3B Jake Lamb - 3B
Christian Yelich - LF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Marcell Ozuna - CF David Peralta - RF
Giancarlo Stanton - RF Rickie Weeks - LF
Justin Bour - 1B Chris Herrmann - C
J.T. Realmuto - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Adeiny Hechavarria - SS Zack Godley - RHP
Jose Fernandez - RHP Michael Bourn - CF

The other occasion was all the way back on April 14 in Los Angeles. The Diamondbacks had a 2-0 lead over the Dodgers, thanks to Robbie Ray pitching a shutout over the first six innings. But much as Patrick Corbin did last night, Ray stumbled in the seventh, and put the tying run on base with one out. Chip Hale went to the bullpen - it was Randall Delgado there. Rather than the immediate explosion with which Tyler Clippard was greeted yesterday, it was more a case of death by a thousand cuts for Delgado and Andrew Chadtin, as they gave up foor consecutive hits, three singles and a double, leading to a five-run inning, and the final score of 5-2.

There have been two further blown saves, both by Jake Barrett: one was in the sixth, and the other, a game the Diamondbacks ended up winning. You might be shocked to learn that our total of four blown saves is close to the lowest in the National League, with only the Cubs (3) having fewer, coming into play today. Admittedly, playing into that is the lowest number of save opportunities, at 37 for Arizona. But our save percentage of 76% is considerably better than league average (69%). Despite Clippard's meltdown, the A-bullpen has generally been pretty good at preserving leads.Our ERA in save situations (from the sixth inning on) is 3.26, compared to league average 3.54.

It may not be an issue today, with the team facing one of the best pitchers in the National League - if his ERA is maybe not at the level of Clayton Kershaw and Jake Arrieta, the numbers this year have not been far behind. Indeed, his FIP (Fielding Independent ERA) is superior to Arrieta: he, Kershaw and Noah Syndergaard are the only major-leaguers with a FIP below 2.00. So, it won't be easy, but as we saw last weeked in Chicago, on its day, this team can beat anyone. The problem has been more that "its day" hasn't happened very often this season - particularly at Chase where they are now a woeful 10-23. Fingers crossed Saturday is such a day. It likely needs to be.