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Preview, #145: 9/10 @ Mets

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Two men have largely been carrying the Arizona offense over the last couple of weeks.

Cleveland Indians v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

DIAMONDBACKS METS
Ketel Marte - CF Jeff McNeil - LF
Wilmer Flores - 2B Pete Alonso - 1B
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Michael Conforto - RF
Christian Walker - 1B Wilson Ramos - C
Josh Rojas - LF Robinson Cano - 2B
Adam Jones - RF Amed Rosario - SS
Nick Ahmed - SS Brandon Nimmo - CF
Alex Avila - C Todd Frazier - 3B
Zac Gallen - RHP Zack Wheeler - RHP

The Padres proved as much use as a chocolate teapot last night, completely failing to stop the Cubs in the opener of their series in San Diego. Admittedly, the D-backs didn’t do much to stop Jacob deGrom and the Mets, but it’d have been nice to get some help from a team whose manager used to work for the Diamondbacks. Due to this, Arizona drops 2.5 games back of Chicago, and lost more than 5% off their playoff odds at Fangraphs.com. As mentioned in yesterday’s preview, this wasn’t a game I expected to win, but the recent struggles of the offense have been problematic. They’ve only reached tacos once since September 2, though are 4-2 in that time, due to sterling work from the rotation.

Indeed, before Merrill Kelly’s quality loss last night, Diamondbacks’ starter had not taken the loss in a decision since Zac Gallen in Milwaukee on August 24, a spell of 13 consecutive games. Including the L’s on both ends, here have been Arizona’s starting pitching performances over the last 15 games, or three times around the rotation. During this time, the Diamondbacks’ starters are 8-2 with a 3.03 ERA, have struck out more than a batter per inning (87 K’s in 86 IP), and given us an average Game Score of 57.

D-backs starters, Aug 24-Sep 9

Rk Player Date Opp Rslt Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR GSc
Rk Player Date Opp Rslt Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR GSc
1 Merrill Kelly Sep 9 NYM L 1-3 L 6 7 3 3 2 5 2 49
2 Mike Leake Sep 8 CIN L 3-4 6.1 7 2 2 0 3 1 54
3 Alex Young Sep 7 CIN W 2-0 W 8 2 0 0 1 12 0 89
4 Robbie Ray Sep 6 CIN W 7-5 4.1 3 3 3 3 8 0 50
5 Zac Gallen Sep 4 SDP W 4-1 W 7 1 0 0 1 8 0 82
6 Merrill Kelly Sep 3 SDP W 2-1 W 7 3 0 0 2 9 0 78
7 Mike Leake Sep 2 SDP W 14-7 W 6.1 8 4 4 1 1 1 41
8 Alex Young Sep 1 LAD L 3-4 4.1 5 2 2 0 5 2 50
9 Robbie Ray Aug 31 LAD W 6-5 W 5 8 4 4 3 6 2 38
10 Zac Gallen Aug 30 LAD W 5-4 5 5 3 3 1 6 0 50
11 Merrill Kelly Aug 29 LAD W 11-5 4 3 3 3 4 4 0 44
12 Mike Leake Aug 27 SFG W 3-2 W 7.1 4 2 2 1 2 0 63
13 Alex Young Aug 26 SFG W 6-4 W 5.1 4 2 1 2 4 0 56
14 Robbie Ray Aug 25 MIL W 5-2 W 5 3 0 0 4 6 0 63
15 Zac Gallen Aug 24 MIL L 0-4 L 5 6 2 2 2 8 2 53
TOTAL 86 69 30 29 27 87 10 860

That’s an impressive streak, especially considering Arizona managed it after dealing away Zack Greinke, their consensus “ace” at the end of July. However, this has helped conceal a rather underwhelming set of results from the offense: in those same 15 games, the D-backs are hitting a collective .245, with an OPS of .733. That’s forty-one OPS points below the Arizona season figure to that point. They have largely been carried by Ketel Marte (OPS 1.267) and Wilmer Flores (1.167) over that spell, with the likes of Nick Ahmed (.606) and Jarrod Dyson (.350) needing to start carrying their weight. If they can do so tonight in New York, we’d all appreciate it...