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Diamondbacks Game Preview #91: 7/16 @ Padres

The D-backs are winless since I cut the cable. Tyler Gilbert tries to end that.

Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Carson Kelly - C Jurickson Profar - LF
Josh Rojas - 3B Jake Cronenworth - 1B
Ketel Marte - DH Manny Machado - 3B
Christian Walker - 1B Jorge Alfaro - C
Jordan Luplow - LF Luke Voit - DH
Jake McCarthy - RF Ha-Seong Kim - SS
Buddy Kennedy - 2B Esteury Ruiz - RF
Alek Thomas - CF Trent Grisham - CF
Geraldo Perdomo - SS Matt Batten - 2B
Tyler Gilbert - LHP Sean Manaea - LHP

As well as Mark Melancon tying the franchise record for losses before the All-Star break, it’s worth looking a another pitcher who has a shot as an unwanted record. That is Madison Bumgarner, who loss last night gave him the team lead for the season, with nine. It came in our ninetieth games, so simple math tells us he’s on pace for 16.2 L’s by the end of the season. Only two men in Diamondbacks history have reached sixteen L’s: Brandon Webb in 2004, and Rodrigo Lopez in 2010. The former was, of course, a pretty good pitcher, with an ERA+ of 128 over 208 innings and 35 starts. Lopez... wasn’t, with an 85 ERA+, and Madbum currently sits more or less between them, with a ERA+ of 106.

To rack up the losses like that may require you to be very unlucky or there to be so few options, the team basically has to keep rolling you out there. Webb, falls at least somewhat into the former category. No other pitcher with an ERA+ of 128 or better has reached sixteen L’s in the Wild-card Era (since 1995). However, even he had a 5.61 ERA over those 16 losses, and the majority (10) were not quality starts in one way or another. That ERA in defeat is worse than MadBum, who has a 4.70 ERA across his nine losses, though obviously in a slightly less offensive time (NL runs per game now = 4.43 vs. 4.64 in 2004). Lopez, oddly, was worse in his ten no-decisions (5.84) than his sixteen losses (5.63).

I think Bumgarner has a real shot. He hasn’t been as good as his ERA suggests. Though the gap between his ERA and his FIP has narrowed, the latter is still up at 4.59, and that’s likely a better predictor of what we can expect going forward. It’s also almost certain that Madison is not going anywhere, either at the trade deadline, or out of the D-backs rotation. His contract is a significant impediment, though as we saw with Mike Hazen managing to get out from under Zach Greinke, never say never. And this is a rotation where Dallas Keuchel has been getting wheeled out every fifth game. Bumgarner would have to achieve a remarkable degree of suck to be on the chopping block.