Pouncing in the middle innings
Declaring a trend after three games is premature, but the Diamondbacks offense is scoring their runs in a predictable fashion.
Through the first three games, the Diamondbacks have scored a total of one run in innings one through three. Once the game reaches the middle innings, run production picks up. Arizona has scored 12 runs in the middle innings, helping to ignite several early season comebacks.
There is a reason why major league starters pitch fewer innings today, and relievers are coming in earlier.
There is a reason why major league starters pitch fewer innings today, and relievers are coming in earlier. By the time the starter reaches the third time of the opponent’s order, professional hitters figure out the pitcher’s stuff and tendencies and start barreling the ball up.
On Opening Day, Madison Bumgarner threw four no-hit innings, but the Diamondbacks touched him for three runs in the fifth to tie the game. The same thing happened to both Johnny Cueto and Matt Moore on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
Despite a lack of early production, Arizona’s 18 runs scored (6.0 runs per game) is one run behind the Giants in the National League.
As my colleague Mark Brown discussed, manager Torey Lovullo attributed the hitter’s ability to adjust mid-game to the amount of communication between players in the dugout.
It would help for Arizona to not play from behind, but whether this trend continues will play out.