D-backs through 70 games: By the numbers
The Arizona Diamondbacks entered Monday with a 44-26 record, the best start through 70 games in franchise history.
It comes as a surprise. The roster didn’t face much turnover from a 69-93 season in 2016 — it lost its best hitter from a year ago, Jean Segura, and the only significant changes came at catcher.
The assumption was healthy A.J. Pollock and the entire pitching staff drifting closer to average would help the D-backs put together a better season.
Still, the first chunk of the season has blown away expectations between the hot bats led by Paul Goldschmidt and the steps forward from pitcher Robbie Ray. First-year manager Torey Lovullo deserves credit for creating a loose atmosphere in the clubhouse and fostering buy-in through developing clear roles for every player on the roster.
The D-backs sit near the top of not only MLB as a whole, but the NL West as well with Colorado and Los Angeles keeping pace.
Here is how Arizona’s so-far successful season looks through 70 games, by the numbers as of Monday afternoon.
1 (and 2)
Jake Lamb (59 RBI) and Paul Goldschmidt (57) have knocked in the first- and second-most runs in the majors.
The Diamondbacks’ team ERA of 3.43 ranks second, just behind the Los Angeles Dodgers’ collective 3.39 ERA.
Currently, Arizona has three starters on the disabled list. RHP Shelby Miller (out for the year, Tommy John surgery), OF A.J. Pollock (groin) and OF Yasmany Tomas (groin) have all spent significant time on the DL this season, and RHP Taijuan Walker is freshly removed from it. Since Pollock went down, his teammates have picked up their play, going an MLB-best 23-8 over that span.
3, Part II
Arizona has the third-most strikeouts in the majors with 655. Much of that is thanks to Robbie Ray (114 strikeouts) and Zack Greinke (104 strikeouts), who respectively rank fourth and eighth in MLB.
Goldschmidt is tied for second among all players (pitchers included) with 3.6 wins above replacement (WAR). He’s third in on-base percentage, fourth in OPS and tied for first (Yankees’ Aaron Judge) with 60 runs scored. The first baseman also is tied for first in walks with 47 as of Monday.
The D-backs rank fourth — behind only the Astros, Yankees and Nationals — with an OPS of .782. Perhaps it’s because they also have the fourth-most extra-base hits (246) so far this season.
Arizona has stolen the fifth-most bases in MLB with 57 through the first 70 games.
Ray ranks eighth among pitchers with 3.0 wins above replacement. He’s fourth with just 6.262 hits allowed per nine frames and third with 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings.
In 84 at-bats by pinch-hitters, the Diamondbacks rank 12th with those batters putting up a .250 average.
Closer Fernando Rodney is tied for the second-most saves in the majors with 20 so far.
Despite all the hitting success, the D-backs haven’t grounded into many double plays. They have done that just 45 times. Boston, for reference, leads MLB having grounded into 74 double plays.