OK, now that you’re here, let’s take a look at that stat again: over the last 20 games dating back to June 6th, the Diamondbacks starting rotation have failed to record a single win. Seems impossible right? Well, I’m here to tell you this is truth.
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Trevor Cahill (35) is taken out of the game during the sixth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Image: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
I’ll go through some of the numbers real quick. During this stretch the D’backs have gone 8-12 overall which includes two extra inning wins. The starters have been handed nine of the twelve losses during that time while David Hernandez has taken two and Heath Bell the other loss. The Snakes have won four games by one run and lost three one run games during this stretch. And out of the twenty games, twelve of them have seen the D’backs put up three or fewer runs including their first shutout of the season on Friday night.
Another interesting fact is that the Diamondbacks have only had one stretch during the entire season that the starting pitchers won more than two games in a row- they took four straight from May 14-18th before Miley took a loss. Just as a reference, in 2012, the team never went more than eight games without locking down a win by a starter.
The next question I would think we’d all like answered is whether or not this is a big deal? Obviously there will be stretches in baseball where the starters will falter and the offense will pick them up. There will be stretches- as there were earlier this season- where the starting pitching is dynamite and helps carry the lacking offense. Then still, there will be times where a starting pitcher throws well and leaves with a lead only to see the bullpen surrender that lead. Patrick Corbin knows of this scenario all too well.
The issue now of course is that the D’backs seem to be in the middle of all three of these scenarios that are keeping them from really rolling. The offense has been spotty this season scoring three or fewer runs in 39 of their 79 games, just over 50% of the time. They’ve then scored six or more runs in 20 contests helping their overall offense find the happy medium statistically speaking. As we’ve seen during most of 2013, when Paul Goldschmidt goes, so do the D’backs. The addition of Aaron Hill to the everyday lineup will certainly help and the fact that Montero appears to back on track is immensely important to the lineup and Goldie’s production opportunities moving forward.
The starters have also fallen victim to the bullpen 14 times this season as the back end sits with the second most blown saves in the National League behind only the Dodgers and the Cubs, both bottom dwellers in the standings.
Essentially, aside from Trevor Cahill really struggling this month (9.30 ERA) and with the injury to Brandon McCarthy who was really sharp just before hitting the D.L., one would assume that during the remainder of the season the starters’ recent lack of wins will even itself out.
This is, of course, assuming our less than consistent ‘ace,’ Ian Kennedy, can string together some quality starts while Cahill can offer us some consistency himself. With a bit of luck we’ll be praising our rotation down the stretch as we make a run for the division championship. Until then, just grit your teeth and hope these D’backs can keep manufacturing wins.
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