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Preview, #41: 5/12 vs. Braves

Where has the offense gone?

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a full week since there were any deliveries of free tacos for the Phoenix area (at participating locations) were scheduled. The last time the D-backs scored more than four runs was last Sunday, in the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field. Over the six games since, Arizona has managed a total of only 14 runs, going 2-4 in that time - and both of those victories were hard-fought, requiring extra innings to prevail. The Diamondbacks haven’t won a game in regulation since May 4. That 9-2 win was their only victory by a margin of more than two runs since April 26. In the last six contests, Arizona has collectively hit below the Uecker Line (.195), with a .614 OPS.

Breaking performances over that period down to an individual level, there is an issue of small sample sizes, but it becomes clear who has been driving the offense and who has been pulled over at the side of the road, wishing they had renewed their AAA membership. In the former category, it has been David Peralta (9-for-23, 1.060 OPS) and Wilmer Flores (9-for-23, .982 OPS), with a side order of Carson Kelly (3-for-8, 3 BB, 1.420 OPS). That’s the good news. The bad, is that they’re the only regulars above .705 for OPS. Adam Jones’s HR off the bench blew some life into a week where he’d been flat-lining, going 2-for-21 before that shot. He, Jarrod Dyson, Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar are all below .500 OPS.

This is of particular concern, because the offense was an area many people thought would struggle before the season started. They then started off like gangbusters, only the Dodgers scoring more runs than the D-backs in the National League for April. Is this just a temporary blip? Or is this the real Diamondbacks, finally showing up? We saw the same thing last year, when runs per game for Arizona plummeted by 1.7 between April and May, a large factor in the second month slump. We’re not there yet - runs/game are down less than half that (0.83), and the D-backs are still .500 this month. But it’s something on which to keep an eye. The sooner the likes of Jones, Marte and Escobar hit again, the happier we’ll all be.