The Diamondbacks are now 5-15 in September. As we noted earlier in the week, this is the worst slump - in terms of performance compared to the earlier part of the season - in franchise history. But it’s now looking increasingly likely to be the worst September ever for the D-backs, regardless of previous play. The chart below sums up the play after August 31 for each year since the D-backs came into existence in 1998.
D-backs Septembers, 1998-2018
What we see from this is as follows:
- Yes, our win percentage is currently the all-time low. We would need to go 3-4 over the remaining seven games in order to finish about the previous worst (2014). I am not optimistic about that.
- In terms of run differential, we are on pace to tie the record for runs per game. In 2004, we were also outscored by 1.8 per game. Matching 2004 is never a good thing in D-backs history. We need to be outscored by 12 or fewer runs down the stretch to avoid a new record there.
- Perhaps surprisingly, it’s not the offense which has been the particular source of the problem. There, we are at least ahead of three seasons (2004, 2010 and 2014) in runs scored per game, though are beating only 2014 in OPS.
- No, the problem has more been pitching, where our September ERA of 5.33 is on top of the previous all-time worst of 5.17. Oddly, that was set in 2002, then the team won 98 games. However, they still had a winning record that month, and were only outscored by 11.
It has certainly been a month to forget. The team hasn’t just played badly, either. While I haven’t watched as much as I could have - yesterday was the first full game in several weeks - from what I have seen, and what others have said, it certainly seems they are doing so with little energy or enthusiasm. There is some good news though. Defeat for us today would make it almost impossible for the Dodgers to clinch at Chase Field next week. If we lose to the Rockies here, the Dodgers would need to beat the Padres, then sweep the D-backs AND hope the Rockies get swept at home by the Phillies in order to take the division here. Small mercies, yet those are probably all we have left.