A 3-3 week against the Giants and D-Backs. The Rox currently stand at 29-27. Four games back from division leading San Diego in fourth place. Currently 15-9 at home and 14-18 on the road, the Rox have outscored its opponents 261-222 (expected wins is 32 versus historical wins at 25). On pace for 84 wins with 755 runs scored and 642 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 1.18 (>1.16 indicates high playoff potential).
The next 3 weeks will determine the season. 13 of the next 16 games are at home. Hopefully after some good home cooking the Rox will find themselves in the lead or a game back. Things to look for: Starting pitching settling into a routine, bullpen maintaining its dominance, winning some close games, and a more stable lineup without the juggling. I think these are the keys.
A lot was said over the weekend about the lack of hitting with runners in scoring position. Spreadsheet below shows certain offensive statistics with RISP over the last few years
Nothing overtly earth shattering. Two things of note at least to me is that if you take the ratio of runs to hits, the Rox, when hitting (!), are scoring. The problem is the hitting is down (obviously). Another highlight is the number of double is waaaayyyy down. Average number of doubles hit with RISP is around 83...Rox are on pace this year to only hit 55 (can you say Helton!). Of course Rox have played a lot of games on the road where their doubles tend to be lower. Also now that Helton has contacts maybe he will be able to see the ball...any why do the players not all have eye exams each year in Spring Training? To me that would be something pretty obvious!
Finally one note of concern is the lack of run scoring or production after the 5th inning. Historically the Rox have scored 55% of their runs in the first 5 innings and 45% over the last 4. This year through 56 games Rox are scoring 70% in the first 5 and 30% in the4 last 4. Rox are either bashing their way to an early rout or going to sleep in the later innings...big time!
A 162 game schedule can easily be broken into "9 innings" of 18 games a piece. Over the years I have tracked monthly averages and I am always amazed how similar the averages are. So this year instead of months I am simply tracking 18 game stretches to see if anything changes. The spreadsheet below shows the first, second, and third inning.
Amazing how similar stretches of games are and yet games themselves are so vastly different. Goes to show how statistics can mess with you!