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D-backs Preview #82: 6/30 @ Cardinals

Another day, another one-run loss...

Arizona Diamondbacks v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Josh Rojas - LF Dylan Carlson - CF
Tim Locastro - CF Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Eduardo Escobar - 2B Nolan Arenado - 3B
Christian Walker - 1B Tyler O'Neill - LF
Asdrubal Cabrera - 3B Matt Carpenter - 2B
Josh Reddick - RF Yadier Molina - C
Nick Ahmed - SS Tommy Edman - RF
Daulton Varsho - C Edmundo Sosa - SS
Riley Smith - RHP Kwang Hyun Kim - LHP

Last night’s defeat dropped the D-backs record in one-run game to a staggering 2-19. Since that’s the half-way point in the season, it puts them on pace to go 4-38 over the course of the full season. Perhaps surprisingly, that’s not even close to the record for the most one-run defeats in a season. That belongs to the 1968 White Sox who lost 44 such games. They weren’t a great team - their overall record was 67-95. But they did at leasy keep things interesting for their fans. They managed 30 one-run wins as well, meaning a total of 74 of their games were decided by the smallest possible margin. [The record for one-run games in a year is 75, belomging to the 1975 Astros, who went 32-43]

Even in the first half of the season, Arizona’s 19 losses by one run is well short of the record. That’s 24 defeats, shared by the 1928 Philliaes and the 1971 Astros. But where the D-backs do shine is in the near-total absence of one-run wins. They have just two victories there, when every other team has at least five one-run wins. That ties the major-league record for the first 81 games of the season, set back in 1935 by the Boston Braves. They only played 153 games that year, but did pick up five more wins the rest of the way. Still, their seven total one-run wins is the major-league worst mark, so that’s something for which the Diamondbacks can aim the rest of the way.

Finally, the team’s win percentage has crashed below a buck, and is now down to .095. That’s 116 points below the next-worst, the Twins at .211. Never mind .100, there hasn’t been a team below .200 in one-run games to this point, since the 2008 Braves went 4-20 (.167). But they also recovered a bit during the second half, going 7-10 in one-run contests the rest of the way, to finish at 11-30, a .268 winning percentage. I still think it’s likely that the same kind of thing will probably happen to the 2021 Diamondbacks. The balls will eventually bounce their way, and take the decisions with them. But I will admit there’s a part of me which hopes they don’t. As I’ve said before, if you’re going to be bad, be historically bad...

No pre-game from Lovullo today. Normal service will resume tomorrow, against San Francisco.