Tweet of the Week
That green wall... couldn't help myself. pic.twitter.com/wfSGPpa5dk— Josh Kelman (@JoshKelman) June 26, 2018
I know the Dbacks got murdered in some trades with them, but this over the top. https://t.co/uSf0Qx9kWB— Armin Tamzarian (@RealTamzarian) June 27, 2018
Arizona Diamondbacks’ Archie Bradley becomes first pitcher to lead his team in runs pic.twitter.com/ZPHiuWBVOb— Denlesks (@Denlesks) June 27, 2018
Olbermann of the Week
When will you admit Boxberger is not closer material?— KG (@kdag90) June 28, 2018
By itself, this was just another boring and predictable Boxberger Hawt Taek (OMG! Our closer allowed a run! DFA!). But then, less than forty mins later:
Lol figures you don’t answer. Mediocre fan site.— KG (@kdag90) June 28, 2018
Sorry, guess I was just too busy being a “mediocre fan site”, or maybe had other shit to do. But let me now take valuable time out of my day, and explain why Brad Boxberger actually IS “closer material.” It’s because he is a perfectly reasonable reliever. Even after his recent struggles, he still has a 118 ERA+, and that with a severely outlying HR/FB rate: 22.2% this year, compared to a 12.9% career average. His xFIP is below his ERA, at 3.52 vs. 3.68, so we can expect numbers going forward to be better, maybe getting his ERA+ into the 125 range. That’s entirely fine. It won’t make him the best reliever we’ve got, but here’s the important point, of which @kdag90 is oblivious: you don’t want your best reliever as your closer.
Yesterday’s game is a great illustration of this. The game wasn’t “saved” in the ninth. It was actually saved in the seventh, when Yoshihisa Hirano held our one-run lead. By the time Boxberger entered, Daniel Descalso’s home-run had made it a two-run game, and Box’s ninth was worth less Win Probability (+7.8%) than Hirano’s (+10.2%). Any semi-competent reliever should be able to protect a two-run lead for one inning, and most “save situations” are that or an even bigger lead. Locking your best reliever up for use in “easy” saves like that is a horrible waste of his skills. Better to label someone moderately decent the closer, let them work there, and use your best guys when it really matters.
This is what the Diamondbacks did last season. Fernando Rodney was far from the best reliever we had. Indeed, his ERA for the season was higher, not just than Archie Bradley, but also Andrew Chafin, Randall Delgado, J.J. Hoover and even Jorge De La Rosa (as well as half a run higher than Boxberger this year). But Rodney was good enough, and allowed us to use Bradley as a “fireman”. leveraging his abilities to the greatest good. Worked out well, didn’t it? And that’s what we’re doing again in 2018. We signed a non-closer free-agent, with previous experience of the role, and let him be reasonably competent, which allows us to be more flexible with Bradley, etc. So, here @kdag90, have your GIF:
The market was flooded with similar kneejerk reactions on Friday. I strongly recommend selling this meme while you can.
Back to back blown saves by boxberger . He is worthless . Time to send him to Reno or even better dfa him. Let Bradley be the closer . Pathetic— Ty Jensen (@TyScottJensen) June 23, 2018
The Games in Diamondbacks Tweets
Diamondbacks 9, Pirates 3
Man oh man.....the temperature outside is higher (.109) than Avila's batting avg (.108) #Dbacks— Scott Allen (@azsportsguy) June 21, 2018
But what a difference twenty minutes makes!
Diamondbacks 2, Pirates 1
Some, however, were still unconvinced...
If you’re taking requests, what about a Diamondbacks victory? Well, there you go. #AskAndYeShallReceive
Diamondbacks 7, Pirates 2
a.k.a. “The one with the rain delays”. Or, at least, “ONE of the ones with the rain delays...”
If Rob Manfred really wants to speed up baseball, then he should ban rain— Joshua Inman (@RoofNPanelsOpen) June 23, 2018
Diamondbacks 3, Pirates 0
Went to grab lunch and every single TV is on the same soccer game. Only had to ask twice for them to put on the Dback game— Jared (@azsportsfien) June 24, 2018
Harumph. It’s only the World Cup. Which is like the World Series of soccer. If the World Series happened every four years and involved over two hundred different countries. But I do get your point. There is, however, a solution:
I play my middle-class, middle-age white blonde female privilege and tell them I’m not ordering until they’ve put the game on.— Bruhette (.571) (@AzSportsGirl63) June 24, 2018
Diamondbacks 5, Marlins 9
Tired of the crowds? Want to get away from it all? Come to a Marlins game!
I know it's Monday, but man, this place is empty. The third deck is entirely decorative. I bet there are seats up there that have never been graced by human buttocks.— Zach Buchanan (@ZHBuchanan) June 25, 2018
Diamondbacks 5, Marlins 3
I’m detecting a theme here:
Diamondbacks 2, Marlins 1
Robbie Ray rides in from the rehab trail on a pyrotechnic unicorn, flexing his bionic obliques and throwing hammers at the fish.— The Rattle (@TheRattleAZ) June 28, 2018
And, at last: a #BoxbergerHawtTaek which actually made me laugh.
Diamondbacks 3, Marlins 0
Back to the usual topic:
And, finally a #DamnYouAutoCorrect of the week
Jeff Mathis singled and tried to text Derek Dietrich's arm, and is out by a mile.— Zach Buchanan (@ZHBuchanan) June 28, 2018
Actually, given the distance by which Mathis was out, I think he paused at first base, wrote a longhand letter, stamped and mailed it...