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Diamondbacks Game Preview #161: 10/4 @ Brewers

Another day, another bullpen loss...

Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 during a MLB baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Stone Garrett - DH Christian Yelich - DH
Jordan Luplow - LF Hunter Renfroe - RF
Jake McCarthy - RF Kolten Wong - 2B
Christian Walker - 1B Luis Urias - SS
Josh Rojas - 2B Keston Hiura - 1B
Carson Kelly - C Garrett Mitchell - CF
Daulton Varsho - CF Tyrone Taylor - LF
Sergio Alcantara - 3B Omar Narvaez - C
Geraldo Perdomo - SS Mike Brosseau - 3B
Zac Gallen - RHP Eric Lauer - LHP

Last night was the 41st bullpen loss of the season for the Diamondbacks, tying the franchise record set... um, last year, and claiming sole possession of the major-league lead. With two games left, they still have an outside shot at setting a new major-league record, which is the 42 losses set by the Nationals’ bullpen in 2021. Perhaps even more impressively - for some loose definition of “impressive” - the D-backs have had fifteen different relievers loses games this year. Oh, some people have done more than their share: Mark Melancon, Ian Kennedy and Joe Mantiply have combined for 22 losses, more than half the total. But let’s not forget the contributions from... just about everyone else. For example, Oliver Perez only threw four innings this season, but still managed to lose a game.

The loss dropped Arizona’s record in one-run games to 17-29. While the win percentage of .370 is an improvement over last season’s dismal .244 (10-31), it’s still the second-worst in the majors, ahead of only the Texas Rangers (14-34). The team hasn’t had a winning record in one-run games since going 29-23 in 2017. However, it’s interesting to note that the D-backs don’t have that many blown saves: 27, compared to an MLB average of 23, and tied for 20th best. However, it’s worth noting that Reyes Moronta did NOT get a blown save last night, despite entering the 10th with a 5-4 lead. That’s because he entered in the ninth with the score 4-4 to get the final out. So that’s just an L. A new arm in the 10th = blown save.

A significant factor is the team being 6-16 in games that were tied at the start of the ninth: in 12 cases, they lost in regulation, compared to just 2 wins. If the D-backs don’t score, then there would be no blown save. But they also have six losses where Arizona led going into the ninth. The major-league average is only 3.3. The odd thing is, the team hasn’t been outscored that badly: 65-72 in the ninth, and 19-20 in extras. But a 4.97 ERA in the ninth is... not good, ranking them 28th in the majors. It is an obvious problem, even for a team with moderate aspirations of getting towards .500 this season. Though amusingly, it’s still better than the Padres 5.01 ERA in the ninth inning. Thanks, Josh Hader!