The Venom Strikes staff takes a moment to reminisce on the Arizona Diamondbacks season, recalling things which got away from them in 2013.
Noah Dougherty: I imagine most of us here will (and should) say that the poor performance by the bullpen that led to a league worst 29 blown saves is something that got away from the team this season. Along the same lines, I would have to say that the fact that the D’backs played 80 innings of “free baseball” that begins beyond the ninth inning is a major reason the club struggled to get in to a groove much of the last two and a half months of the season. The Diamondbacks pitchers recorded 18.1 more innings than any other club in baseball this season and only one team in the history of Major League Baseball has ever played more innings than the D’backs did in 2013.
Sure, watching extra innings is fun and exciting. And luckily for us the Snakes found themselves on the winning end of these battles in 17 of their 25 affairs. The team also led the league in 1-run games with 34 victories which sounds fantastic however there were many a night that we should have just closed the books on a game, only to have it extended by our inept bullpen in pressure situations. Putting your pitching staff and everyone else on the diamond through so many additional innings surely puts a toll on the body that you cannot really put into a statistic and I believe cost the Diamondbacks a run at the post season.
Chris Lacey: One of the things that got away from Arizona this season was the lack of situational hitting. There were times when it looked like they had a chance either behind or ahead in the game and they could not get the key hit they needed.
Aside from Paul Goldschmidt and Martin Prado in the second half of the season, there was not a player that could really come up with a timely hit when it mattered most. For this team to contend next season they have improve their chance when men are on base.
An example of a team they could follow is the St.Louis Cardinals with their prowess when runners are in scoring position. They don’t just rely on one guy to come through and have multiple players contributing to their success.
The D-Backs definitely have the talent to get better, but this will have to improve or the 2014 season will be an exact image of 2013.
Tom Lynch: The bullpen let a lot of leads get away. But enough about them. First place got away from the D’backs. Not so much that the Dodgers came back from 10 ½ games out to coast to the NL West title. It was that it seemed as though the D’backs didn’t really put up much of a fight to get it back. While the Dodgers soared, Arizona wilted. It seems that once LA got a hold of first place on July 23rd, the D’backs would never see it again.
I am not sure of this classifies “got away” but Patrick Corbin’s second half of the season saw a noticeable drop-off. There could be many explanations for this, one of them being that the rest of the league caught up to him. If that is the case, now it is up to Corbin to take the next step as a pitcher. Of course, it would have helped if the offense would have scored for him or else he could have had close to 20 wins.
Christian Moffett: Over the past season, a major thing that the Diamondbacks lost was consistency. Whether it was a different line-up each night or shaky starting pitching, something was usually off. A sign of a great playoff team is being consistent and knowing what you were going to get each night. I feel as if Arizona didn’t really have an identity this year. They would beat Baltimore, and then get spanked by Philadelphia.
It’s very easy to blame inconsistency on all of the injuries this year, and I believe that was a contributing factor. However, the most important thing is that the performance just wasn’t there up and down the lineup each night. It’s hard as a fan to wonder what type of Diamondbacks team we were going to get from night to night. With confidence comes consistency, so when players begin to feel comfortable in their spots and playing with each other, then things hypothetically should improve.