As I write this, the Arizona Diamondbacks find themselves sitting alone atop the National League West. It is no secret that the reason the D’backs have found themselves with a 26-19 mark is the performance of the entire pitching staff. The staff has posted an ERA of 3.30, good enough for second in all of Major League Baseball. The starters have logged 414 1/3 innings also second, 2/3 of an inning behind the Oakland A’s. I know the blown saves have dragged the team down a bit but if the offense wouldn’t disappear for games at a time, the one game lead right now could easily be four or five.
If you think about it, the success of the pitching has almost defied logic. The team as a whole is only 12-11 at home, however the ERA is a Chase Field-respectable 3.58. The staff’s ERA on the road is a sterling 2.99 and has turned out tremendous efforts in notirously-hitter friendly parks in New York, Colorado and Milwaukee. Their worst outings have come in pitcher havens San Francisco and San Diego, where they have a 4.68 ERA in three games at Petco Park. Those damm Padres, once again making life miserable for the D’backs. Anyway, beginning on May 6th, the team has gone 10-4 largely based on the staff surrendering more than four runs only once, posting two shutouts and allowing only a single run in two other contests. While the starters deserve much of the credit, don’t forget about the much-maligned (including some by me) bullpen which has given up only one run over its last four appeances and seems to have adapted well in the absence of J.J. Putz.
While we know Patrick Corbin won’t pitch like Sandy Koufax all season, we expect the pitching to carry the team until the offense gets some consistency. My favorite part about the club right now is the starters going deep into games. Teams that have four or five guys that can average 7 innings per outing usually win big.
Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @venomstrikes
Follow me on Twitter @ltj41 and at www.clearthebases.net