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Preview #127: Arizona Diamondbacks @ New York Mets

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Solid starting pitching has been the key for the D-backs so far this series. Can Zack Godley keep it going today?

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS NEW YORK METS
David Peralta - LF Brandon Nimmo - LF
A.J. Pollock - CF Asdrubal Cabrera - 2B
Jake Lamb - 3B Michael Conforto - RF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Wilmer Flores - 3B
J.D. Martinez - RF Dominic Smith - 1B
Daniel Descalso - 2B Travis d'Arnaud - C
Chris Iannetta - C Amed Rosario - SS
Ketel Marte - SS Juan Lagares - CF
Zack Godley - RHP Chris Flexen - RHP

Of course, it more or less goes without saying that the better your starting pitcher does, the higher the chances of your team coming out on top. But I thought it might be interesting to break down the exact numbers over the first 126 games, and see where things lie. So the list below gives the D-backs’ record, when their starting pitcher allows the number of earned runs shown

  • 0 earned runs: 18-1
  • 1 earned run: 20-8
  • 2 earned runs: 11-10
  • 3 earned runs: 11-17
  • 4 earned runs: 7-10
  • 5+ earned runs: 2-11

The one loss where our started didn’t allow an earned run, likely deserves an asterisk. For it’s the game in which Robbie Ray was hit by a line-drive, so pitched only 1.2 innings. However, we did end up losing that contest against the Dodgers 1-0, on an unearned run, so it’s still notable. At the other end, we have won twice when our starter has allowed five or more. The first occasion was Ray’s April 22 start, also against Los Angeles, where he gave up five runs, but Arizona won 11-5. The other was the wild Cubs game in Wrigley Field, in which Zack Greinke was tagged for six runs, as we blew an early lead, before coming back to win 10-8.

Again, it’s worth noting how low the break-even point is. We are only 11-10 when our starter allows just a pair of earned runs. Half of those losses saw our starter go at least six innings as well, so it’s not as if they were lifted early. It’s more to do with a lack of run support, the team averaging only 2.7 runs per game across those ten defeats. We have also lost 20 of the last 23 games where our starter has allowed more than two earned runs. Outside of Yoenis Cespedes, it’s hard to see much threat in the Mets’ line-up, based on what I’ve seen in the first two games. After a trio of wobbly starts by Godley (4.58 ERA and opponents hitting .300), this might get him back on track.