1-Run Game Issues for the Diamondbacks
Let’s take a look at the main reason why I think the Diamondbacks have struggled this season with a “hovering around” .500 record; compared to their significant 2011 run and the NL West Division Title. It’s not the season ending injury to pitcher Daniel Hudson early in 2012 or Ian Kennedy suddenly becoming just a .500 pitcher. It’s not even Justin Upton’s big drop off in power hitting, or losing three games to the Cubs, or the current six game losing streak to the Padres.
Yes those are some very good reasons and all should be in consideration for a debate, but I think the most obvious reason for the teams struggles to be a better than .500 team is, its win total in 1-run games this year, compared to last year or even their 2007 NL West Division Title season.
At the beginning of this season there was discussion that a “falling off” in 1-run wins could be expected, but to go from the best in the league last year to the worst so far this year, is a very hard crash-landing for the Diamondbacks. This year, through the games of August 27, they are 10-20 in 1-run games.
Last year the team went 28-16 in 1-run games. That was a .636 winning percentage. Yes it is true that these kinds of numbers are challenging to repeat. The 2007 Diamondbacks team that won the NL West, won 32 1-run games. The 2008 Diamondbacks were 22-23 in 1-run games while finishing the season with an 82-80 record. In 2009 the 70-92 Diamondbacks were 20-27 in 1-run games. As you can see, winning the 1-run game(s) is very important for a team to get into the playoffs.
The Diamondbacks remaining schedule consists of 27 games against NL West teams, including five against the Dodgers and nine against the Giants. This schedule can still keep them in contention for a playoff spot. Yes, time is running out, but with an extra team eligible for the Wild Card the Diamondbacks are not out of the 2012 playoff race yet.
I hope to see you at the ballpark.