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Preview, #124: 8/18 @ Padres

Look! It’s a rare sighting of catcherii murphius!

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Jon Jay - LF Travis Jankowski - RF
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Wil Myers - 3B
A.J. Pollock - CF Eric Hosmer - 1B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Hunter Renfroe - LF
Steven Souza - RF Cory Spangenberg - 2B
Nick Ahmed - SS Austin Hedges - C
Ketel Marte - 2B Freddy Galvis - SS
John Ryan Murphy - C Manuel Margot - CF
Zack Godley - RHP Clayton Richard - LHP

John Ryan Murphy has become the forgotten man of the Diamondbacks roster - tonight will be his first start in almost two weeks, with the last one coming 11 games ago, back on August 5. He hasn’t even been getting time off the bench: since then he has had exactly one plate-appearance, a pinch-hit against the Reds on August 11. Of course, this is a tough result of his performance: as we documented at the start of the month, he had a July for the record books in all the wrong ways. Going 0-for-4 since hasn’t helped, extending his streak without a hit to 30 plate-appearances. His last knock was July 6; he last time even to reach base safely since July 7: since then he has a triple slash of .000/.000/.000 in 28 PA.

I figured that had to be rare. So I dug into the record books to see what were the longest streaks since the D-backs entered the league, for games in which a non-pitcher failed to get on base through a hit, walk, hit by pitch or even reaching on an error. Murphy’s 28 consecutive at-bats is the longest streak in the majors since June 2013, when the A’s Steven Vogt went 31, in a streak which had begin in April 2012. All told, there have been six longer streaks from 1998 on, and two of the top three belong to players who were previously D-backs. #3 belongs to Craig Counsell, who went 35 AB without getting on base for the Brewers in 2011.

But the #1 of the last couple of decades belongs to Andy Fox, who played for us from 1998 through 2000. In 2004, he went 38 baseless at-bats, over 28 games, two teams - and indeed, two different countries. For he was traded from the Montreal Expos to the Texas Rangers in the middle of the streak, and went hitless for Texas in his first 11 games there. Finally, he got a hit. And when I say, “finally”, I mean it came down to the last game of the 2004 season, where in the fifth inning, he singled off Gil Meche. And that’s not the only “finally”. Two PAs later - he walked in one of those - Fox’s major-league career ended, as he never played again.