2015 Arizona Diamondbacks will look to improve in late innings, close games
The woes of the 2014 Arizona Diamondbacks were documented and myriad. No one unit of the team could be blamed for the season-long struggles.
The starting rotation had the second-worst ERA in the National League, besting only the Coors Field-residing Colorado Rockies. Among NL staffs, the D-backs came in 13th in innings pitched, with 937.1 — better than only the Chicago Cubs and the Rockies.
The bullpen suffered the fourth-most losses of all relief staffs, with 29.
And the offense was shutout 13 times — a mark that is the second-worst in franchise history, next only to the D-backs’ inaugural 1998 season. The 2014 D-backs scored one more run than the Cubs and outscored just five of baseball’s 30 teams.
Perhaps less pronounced than the overarching struggles of the team were the problems in specific parts of the game.
In 2014, the D-backs were particularly poor after the seventh inning and in close games, at the plate and on the mound. New manager Chip Hale recently told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM he’ll trust his gut in these situations next season.
Here’s a look at those issues, by the numbers:
The D-backs had a 3.81 ERA in late-and-close situations — which are qualified as games that are being led by three runs or less in the seventh inning or later. Only the Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros, Chicago White Sox and Rockies pitched worse in such situations.
The D-backs played in 18 games that ended via walk-off. They won seven of those contests.
The D-backs entered the ninth inning in a tie 24 times in 2014. They won 10 of those contests.
The D-backs blew 41 leads in 2014.
The D-backs lost 61 of the 89 games in which their opponents scored first.
Comebacks weren’t exactly the D-backs’ forte in 2014. Of the 73 times they trailed their opponent after the sixth inning, they mounted just eight come-from-behind victories. And of the 85 times they trailed going into the ninth inning, they came back to win just three times.