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Diamondbacks Gameday Thread, #62: 6/7 @ Nationals

Key to the game: avoiding giving up a grand-slam, perhaps?

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Ketel Marte - 2B Lane Thomas - RF
Corbin Carroll - LF Luis Garcia - 2B
Emmanuel Rivera - 3B Jeimer Candelario - 3B
Christian Walker - 1B Joey Meneses - DH
Evan Longoria - DH Corey Dickerson - LF
Pavin Smith - RF Dominic Smith - 1B
Nick Ahmed - SS Riley Adams - C
Gabriel Moreno - C CJ Abrams - SS
Jake McCarthy - CF Alex Call - CF
Zach Davies - RHP Patrick Corbin - LHP

A comment from Smurf1000 caught my eye in today’s Snake Bytes. He said, “The reason the DBacks have a winning record is because the offense on multiple occasions has been able to bail out mediocre pitching performances. Last night was yet another one of those occasions.” Certainly, the offense deserves the credit for last night’s victory, scoring ten runs to overcome the early grand-slam Tommy Henry gave up. But has that been true for the season in general. To see, I took a look at the runs allowed per game by the D-backs, and what they’re W-L record was in each, compared to the MLB average. Obviously, both the D-backs and MLB are winning 1.000 when no runs are allowed. But beyond that?

D-backs runs allowed and Win%

Runs Games Wins Loss W-L% MLB W-L%
Runs Games Wins Loss W-L% MLB W-L%
0 5 5 0 1.000 1.000
1 6 6 0 1.000 .891
2 6 5 1 .833 .731
3 9 8 1 .889 .667
4 3 3 0 1.000 .496
5 10 3 7 .300 .317
6 6 2 4 .333 .306
7 7 3 4 .429 .175
8 3 1 2 .333 .207
9+ 6 0 6 .000 .066

Obviously, the D-backs W% of .573 is going to tend to be higher than the .500 across the leagues as a whole. But there are two spots in the table where the gap is particularly pronounced. When allowing three runs, the D-backs win percentage is 222 points better than average: they are 8-1, when they would normally be expected to have gone 6-3 in those games. But the biggest gap is when Arizona has allowed seven runs. They’re 3-4 there, when they would be expected to have won only 1.2 games. Those would be the kind of contests Smurf1000 refers to. But it has been a while. The last of the six Diamondbacks victories while allowing more than five runs was more than a month ago, on May 6.

For games like last night, where we score five runs and still win, the team is currently 3-7, which is almost in line with the expecting winning percentage of .317. But they are an impressive 27-2 overall when holding the opposition to fewer than five runs: the L’s were the recent 2-1 loss to Boston, and a 3-2 defeat in Miami. Across the majors, all teams are 743-281 in those contests. That’d be an expected number of 19.6 wins across those 29 contests for Arizona. So it’s fair to say, the D-backs’ success is also due to their ability to lock down wins when their pitchers do the job, and avoid being on the losing end of pitching duels.