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Diamondbacks Gameday Thread, #112: 8/5 @ Twins

Will we ever win again?

Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Geraldo Perdomo - SS Edouard Julien - DH
Ketel Marte - 2B Jorge Polanco - 2B
Corbin Carroll - RF Max Kepler - RF
Christian Walker - 1B Carlos Correa - SS
Tommy Pham - DH Matt Wallner - LF
Lourdes Gurriel - LF Willi Castro - 3B
Jace Peterson - 3B Ryan Jeffers - C
Alek Thomas - CF Joey Gallo - 1B
Jose Herrera - C Michael Taylor - CF
Ryne Nelson - RHP Kenta Maeda - RHP

At the end of play on July 1, after beating the Angels 3-1, the Diamondbacks were 50-34, and had a three-game lead in the National League West. The collapse since then has been epic: they have gone 7-20, which is the worst record in the major-leagues over that time. Of course, you don’t have to go back particularly far to find similar streaks. The D-backs ended the 2021 season by going exactly the same 7-20, and required wins in the final two games to reach that mark. Indeed, of the 136 spans covering 27 games that season, Arizona went 7-20 or below in 61 of them, reaching the pits from May 16-June 20, when they were 2-31. So, things could certainly be much worse.

On the one hand, if you’d offered me before Opening Day, that in early August the D-backs could be three games above .500, and just a game and a half back of a wild-card spot, I’d have taken that without a second thought. We’re more than two-thirds of the way through the season, and right now, the team is still over-achieving when compared to pre-season expectations. However, sports fandom can typically be summarized in the words of the great philosopher Janet Jackson: “What have you done for me lately?” Sentiment would be radically different if the team had started 7-20, and fought their way back to the edge of the wild-card race, even if the W/L record was exactly the same.

What’s interesting is, the team has been in most of those losses. Of the twenty defeats, only two (2-7 @ TOR and 0-9 vs. NYM) have been by more than four runs; in contrast, nine have been by one or two runs. Our Pythagorean record should probably have been 9-18 or thereabouts over this time. Admittedly, that’s not great: but include those two more wins and the Diamondbacks would still be in a wild-card spot. There remains everything to play for, so let’s see if we can turn this thing around today and tomorrow. With regard to the latter, I just discovered who will be starting for the Twins in the series finale. I think, if the D-backs can’t win that game, perhaps we should stick a fork in the season!