The 5: Most telling stats for D-backs six games into 2018
After two series and six games at Chase Field to start the 2018 season, the Arizona Diamondbacks are 5-1.
The timing is good for the D-backs, as the rest of the NL West is under .500, most notably the Los Angeles Dodgers at 2-5, who Arizona just swept.
Here are some of the most telling stats for Arizona to start the season.
It’s less of an outright stat, but despite five wins in six, the biggest story of the season so far is two key members of the batting order being on the DL: Jake Lamb and Steven Souza Jr.
When diving for a ball in spring training on March 21, Souza suffered a right pectoral strain and started the season on the DL.
On Monday night in the 15-inning thriller, Lamb also got hurt diving for a ball. Going full extension, Lamb recorded the out, but had all of his weight land on his left side. Coming up gingerly, Lamb had a conversation with a team staff member and manager Torey Lovullo before staying in the game.
When he scored the game-tying run in the 15th inning, Lamb slid headfirst into home plate and also looked uncomfortable after the play.
The team announced the next day he would be on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained left AC joint.
The absence of those players will hurt the D-backs the most when it comes to the long ball.
Seen as the two pieces to help supplement the loss of J.D. Martinez’s power the most, Souza and Lamb combined for 60 home runs in 2017.
Through six games, the D-backs’ middle of the order hitters of Ketel Marte, Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock and Lamb hit zero hit home runs.
No D-back, in fact, has more than one and the hitters of those are David Peralta, Nick Ahmed, Chris Owings, Daniel Descalso and John Ryan Murphy, who combined for 42 home runs last season.
The D-backs have been able to win through small-ball but will need more power to keep racking up wins.
Goldschmidt has only one hit in his 17 at-bats but he’s countered that poor number by walking nine times, putting his on-base percentage at .407.
The willingness to walk Goldschmidt, however, shows the lack of reinforcements surrounding him in the batting order, especially with Lamb and Souza sidelined.
Arizona’s hitters will have to continue to make teams pay for being willing to walk Goldschmidt, and so far, they have.
If there was ever anything to worry about Ahmed being a permanent fixture for Arizona at shortstop, it was his bat.
After four games, though, Ahmed has eight hits, three of them doubles, in 17 at-bats for a .471 average.
The lack of pop in Ahmed’s bat has been notable throughout his time with the D-backs. A career .230 hitter, Ahmed’s career-high in RBI is 34, which has his seven RBI in four games more than on pace to set a new personal best.
He missed Tuesday and Wednesday’s game due to illness.
With the exception of Robbie Ray’s six, every other D-backs pitcher has allowed three earned runs or less through two series.
Taijuan Walker was the closest to danger when he gave up three runs in the first inning of his start against the Dodgers on Monday, but he rallied back to pitch five innings of three-run ball.
Fernando Salas and Patrick Corbin are the only others to have more than one earned run to their record, and Salas has the lone loss on the team’s record.
Speaking of Corbin, he has a 1.38 ERA over the 13 innings of his first two starts.
In 59 innings. Arizona has given up 20 runs. Ray, the D-backs’ best starter in 2017, will look to get back on track in the team’s first game on the road Thursday against the St. Lous Cardinals. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM.