|Kyle Schwarber - LF||Pavin Smith - RF|
|Trea Turner - SS||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Nick Castellanos - RF||Corbin Carroll - LF|
|Bryce Harper - DH||Christian Walker - 1B|
|Bryson Stott - 2B||Lourdes Gurriel - DH|
|Alec Bohm - 3B||Josh Rojas - 3B|
|Kody Clemens - 1B||Jake McCarthy - CF|
|Brandon Marsh - CF||Gabriel Moreno - C|
|Garrett Stubbs - C||Geraldo Perdomo - SS|
|Aaron Nola - RHP||Ryne Nelson - RHP|
I wonder why it is that the D-backs have such a problem with extra inning games of late? It hasn’t been the pitching there which has been responsible. Over five extra innings (there were three in one game in Oakland), the only runs allowed by the D-backs bullpen have been the Manfred Man, as they’ve allowed only three hits. No, the problem has been much more on the offense. Last night saw another 0-for-3 performance, just like the previous inning of bonus baseball. And the one before that. And the... Well, to cut it short, the D-backs are now 0-for-15 when hitting in extras this year. Their hitless streak is actually 17 at-bats, if you tack on a couple last season.
You have to go close to nine months back to find the last Arizona hit after the ninth. That came on Monday, October 3 in Milwaukee, the day after another extra-inning loss in San Francisco. An error in the ninth by Christian Walker allowed the Brewers to score three in the ninth, and tie the game at four. With one out, Daulton Varsho (remember him?) singled, scoring Cooper Hummel (remember him?). But Jordan Luplow (remember him?) and Jake McCarthy made outs, then Reyes Moronta (remember him?) gave up two runs without recording an out. The game became the second of an ongoing streak of five consecutive extra-inning losses for the Diamondbacks.
The futility has been well spread around. The current 0-for-17 consists of contributions from 11 different players, none of whom have more than two at-bats. It’s not as if the team has not been putting the ball in play either, with four strikeouts in the nineteen PA; there have been a pair of walks. There are two other teams in the majors who have yet to get a hit in extra innings this season. The Royals are also “enjoying” a collective ohfer, though have only eight at-bats in their run, The Nationals are the others, but they have a fairly good excuse, in that they haven’t actually played extra-innings in 2023. It has been 73 games since their last one, in September last year.
Teams overall do hit worse in extras, no doubt because the opposition bring in the best available relievers. Across the majors this year, they are batting .224/.353/.359 for a .712 OPS, compared to .729 across all innings. It is pretty close to the late-inning OPS though, which is .709 for frames 7-9. The batting average is 24 points down, but the OBP is 33 points higher, no doubt because the pitching team will take use of the empty first base to pick and choose their match-up. That probably also factors into the lower batting average too. But if we take the .224 average, the odds of going hitless over 15 at-bats is about one in 45 (0.02228). The D-backs have either been very unlucky, or they’ve just sucked.