On Monday I read quite a few obituaries for the Arizona Diamondbacks. As Mark Twain once said, the news was premature.
Had you read this blog, you would have known that the Brewers and Dbacks were pretty statistically even, and that the Brewers had the good fortune of timely hitting to credit for their two win lead.
As you know, I use a comparison of Bases Earned to Outs Made (“BEOM”) for each team in all three phases of the game: Hitting, Pitching, and Defense. Now, after last night’s shallacking by Arizona, the Dbacks actually lead the Brewers in every single category. (The National League average BEOM is 0.670 for “Hitters” and “Defense” and 0.951 for “Pitchers” because pitchers only count bases for home runs, walks, and hit-batsmen, and only record strike outs). (SIDENOTE: As you can see below, Arizona is above average in all 3 phases so far this DLS)
If it weren’t for Braun and Fielder, the Brewers would not be in the series. So far, the Dbacks have shown much more offensive depth. Comparing each team’s first two hitters in their lineups (not two best, but rather Lead Off and 2nd Hole), the Brewers top 2 (Hart and Morgan) have earned 9 bases and recorded a staggering 20 outs. By contrast, the Dbacks top 2 (Bloomquist and Hill) have earned 16 bases and recorded only 13 outs.
For the Brewers, the following need to pick their play back up: Tony Plush (he’s been AWFUL — and he should have snared Montero’s first inning double — Plush was in proper position, but he inexplicably failed to stab at the ball with his glove hand), Rickie Weeks (he’s not as bad as his batting average, but he’s better than his current BEOM), Corey Hart (ditto my comments about Weeks), and Jonathon Lucroy, who has been invisible, save for his lucky safety squeeze bunt.
As far as pitching goes, the Brewers two big pickups, Grienke and Marcum, have both been bad. I don’t so much blame Grienke, as he was pitching on double short rest. But Marcum absolutely shrunk from the stage last night. His Bush League tossing of his glove in the air (apparently in an attempt to show up Lucroy — at least that’s how this writer interpreted) was unprofessional.
I worried about Marcum. If you noticed my National League preview, he is far more “defense dependent” than most of the high production pitchers. Meaning, he relies a lot on his defense to keep men from advancing, and to make outs. He gives up a lot of long balls, and doesnt strike out enough hitters to offset that. “Defense Dependent” pitchers can be scary to rely on — Brewers fans remember a certain free agent bust from St Louis who was extremely defense dependent.
Here are the cumulative numbers through last night. Tonight’s game should be an offensive show, because both starters are very defense dependent.