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Eight's Enough

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Last season, Arizona came into Coors Field for the opening homestand and took two out of three from the Rockies. This season, the Diamondbacks came back for an encore with a more talented team, but were rudely met with a reversal. What happened to cause this? Several factors obviously contribute, but let me point out one you might not have noticed:

Here are the results of each plate appearance in the eighth slot in the lineup last season:

  1. GIDP*
  2. G6-3
  3. G3
  4. K*
  5. F7*
  6. K(CS2-5)*
  7. G3*
  8. K*
  9. G5-3*
  10. K*
  11. K
  12. G6*
Zero for twelve, with fourteen outs generated in all. The asterisks indicate when the play was the last out of the inning, meaning that the pitcher's slot would have to bat in front of our leadoff hitters the following frame. That happened 75% of the time. Runners were left in scoring position half the time and not a single one was brought home. Nine of these PA's were by Danny Ardoin, the other three went to Eli Marrero and Choo Freeman.

Okay, let's fast forward to this season:

  1. K
  2. 1B - 2 RBI
  3. G1-3*
  4. E6
  5. 2B
  6. E5
  7. K
  8. K
  9. E5 (Run scores)
  10. G5-3*
  11. 1B
  12. 1B
  13. K
  14. 1B - RBI
Okay, so we've got five for fourteen there, but three more times was the inning kept alive via errors on the defense. If you watched the game Tuesday, you'll know that those were two ropes Iannetta hit toward third, and both errors were at the very least greatly influenced by the sharpness of Chris' contact, if not misruled to begin with. Be that as it may, the result is that our catchers (Iannetta and Yorvit Torrealba) have reached base without an out being recorded eight out of fourteen times. Because of the official scorer's judgement calls, that .571 OBP doesn't show up in any stats, but realize that it's there nonetheless and that it's played a big contribution in our first series win of the season.