|2011||4.51 (4th)||.250||.322||.413||99 (4th)||731||172||133/44||531||1249|
|2010||4.40 (8th)||.250||.325||.416||94 (7th)||713||180||86/41||589||1529|
|2010 - Pen||16||32||5.74||35||24||439.0||485||280||6.79||4.59||1.27||.314|
|2011 - Pen||23||14||3.71||58||13||439.1||413||181||7.75||3.40||0.80||.295|
|Year||W-L Record||NL West Rank||Runs Scored||Runs Allowed||Pythag Record|
|2011||94-68||1st, 8 Games Up||731||662||88-74|
|2010||65-97||5th, 27 Games Back||713||836||69-93|
The Diamondbacks offense was better in 2011 than in 2010, despite the loss of sluggers Mark Reynolds and Adam LaRoche. The 18 run improvement in offense is even more impressive considering that the NL average offense decreased by 33 runs in 2011. But the biggest improvement was in the Runs Allowed department, where the improvement was 174 runs. Overall, the team went from a -123 run differential to a +69 in one year. It is interesting to note that the Diamondbacks underperformed their Pythagorean record by 4 games last year, and out-performed it by 6 games this year. This is consistent with having a bad bullpen in 2010, and a good one in 2011.
A closer look at the offensive components shows that the team actually was slightly worse in the AVG/OBP/SLG stats in 2011. In fact, the only obvious areas of improvement were in strikeouts, stolen bases, and grounding into double plays. Yet the overall result was an increase in runs scored by 18.
On the pitching side, the reasons for improvement are a little clearer. A lot fewer walks and home runs allowed in 2011, and also a slightly better BABIP, due to the lower line drive rate and a higher percentage of fly balls. And clearly, the bullpen was a big reason for the overall statistical improvement.
Over the next few articles, we will break down each aspect of the Diamondbacks' season, including batting, baserunning, fielding, starting pitching, and relief pitching.
|NL - Batter Ahead||.299||.468||.490|
|NL - Even Count||.268||.413||.413|
|NL - Pitcher Ahead||.201||.296||.296|
|Hudson - Batter Ahead||.228||.363||.401|
|Hudson - Even Count||.272||.275||.423|
|Hudson - Pitcher Ahead||.258||.270||.356|
NL pitchers as a group only allow a .201 AVG when ahead in the count, compared to .268 on even counts and .299 when the batter is ahead. Hudson's numbers are backwards - he actually allows the fewest hits when the batter is ahead in the count.
One possible cause for Hudson's unusual numbers may be his slider. On 0-2 counts, he has thrown the slider 25% of the time, compared to 16% overall. And it seems like that 0-2 slider is catching the plate a little too much. Usually pitchers try to make a batter chase a tough pitch on 0-2, but Hudson's 0-2 pitches may have been a little too hittable this year. Over the last few games, Hudson has done a better job in these situations, and he has been throwing a few more fastballs in those situations. It's something to keep an eye on in Sunday's crucial start.
2) Will the Brewers just use three starters in a Best of 5 series, or will Randy Wolf or Chris Narveson get a start?
Narveson likely won't be making many starts this postseason. I think they could get away with only using three starters this series, but whether or not they do depends on how Greinke feels.
3) The left side of the infield has been a weak link all year, with McGehee and Betancourt. Will the Brewers make a change for the playoffs?
It doesn't seem very likely now, and it's too late to really do anything about it. They best they could do is sprinkle in starts for Jerry Hairston, which would help a little.
4) How do the Brewers' fans feel about the possible departure of Prince Fielder? Is there still a chance he stays?
Fans have known it was coming for awhile, so I don't think there any hard feelings. There's a slim chance he stays, but I don't think it would be all that smart to tie up that much of the payroll into a single player.
5) Is Rickie Weeks back at full strength for the playoffs?
Offensively it's possible. Defensively, he's looked a half step slow and he hasn't been running full speed on the bases. Weeks at 80% is still better than the alternatives, though.
6) Nyjer Morgan is one of the most interesting and controversial players around. How do Brewers' fans feel about him?
Tony Plush is a rockstar in Milwaukee. Trading for him has been a big success on the field, and he finally has a fanbase willing to accept eccentric characters. In the clubhouse, he's kept guys loose and having fun. It seems like the teams that have a problem with him are those set in a traditional mindset (St. Louis, his old team in Washington, etc.).
7) What do you see as the key for the Brewers to win this series?
Avoid defensive gaffes that allow runs to score or extend innings. The starting rotation is very good, but can rack up a high pitch count due to strikeouts. They don't need misplays to further extending innings.
Thanks again to Jaymes Langrehr of the Brewers Bar for the insights.]]>