The first half of the D-backs’ 2017 season: By the numbers
Four Diamondbacks were named to the 2017 MLB All-Star game, and all four can claim considerable credit for where their team sits (53-36) heading into the break.
Arizona remains in a competitive chase in the NL West thanks to strong first halves of the year by Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray.
How’d the Diamondbacks get to this point? Here’s a reflection of their successes in the first half of 2017, by the numbers.
Arizona’s pitching staff has allowed 1.01 home runs per nine innings, the lowest rate in MLB. Cincinnati leads the majors by giving up 1.68 homers per nine frames. Relatedly, the D-backs also have the second-highest groundball percentage (48.3).
Goldschmidt and Lamb are the second pair of Diamondback teammates to reach the All-Star break with 20 or more home runs each. They join Jay Bell and Matt Williams, who in 1999 had 24 and 23, respectively.
Goldschmidt is third in MLB with 73 runs scored, placing him just behind the Astros’ George Springer and the Yankees’ Aaron Judge. The D-backs first baseman is also third, behind Judge and Bryce Harper, with an on-base percentage of .428. He’s reached base in 44 of the 46 home games at Chase Field.
Just behind the NL West-leading Dodgers, the D-backs have the second-best ERA in the majors of 3.41. Opponents are hitting just .235 against Arizona, which is the third-best mark overall.
Ranking fourth with 831 total strikeouts through 89 games, the D-backs have been bolstered by the pitching duo of Greinke and Ray. Ray is third in strikeout rate with 11.97 per nine innings, which falls just behind Boston’s Chris Sale and Washington’s Max Scherzer. Greinke comes in 11th with 10.13 strikeouts per nine.
Goldschmidt and Lamb are tied for fifth in RBI (67). That’s three off the major league lead of 70; Seattle’s Nelson Cruz, Colorado’s Nolan Arenado and Miami’s Marcell Ozuna are tied for the lead, while Cincinnati’s Joey Votto has 68.
Nine pitchers in the majors head into the All-Star break with ERAs below 3.00. Greinke (2.86) and Ray (2.97) are among the group.
Seventy-three games remain for Arizona following the few days off, but the team sits only 16 wins away from its 2016 total of 69. The Diamondbacks have won 59.6 percent of their games compared to just 42.6 percent last season.
With 23 triples this season, the D-backs rank second in MLB. It’s been a collective effort, too. Lamb and A.J. Pollock lead the team with three apiece, but Goldschmidt, Peralta, Descalso, Blanco, Mathis and Rey Fuentes have two each.
The 33 home victories for the D-backs in the first half of the year equals their total from 2016.
Talk about not shooting yourself in the foot. Arizona has grounded into just 52 double plays this season, just three more than the league-low San Diego Padres — and you can guess they didn’t have as many opportunities to do so. The Blue Jays lead the majors by hitting into 92 groundball double plays.