This is so true. If you would of told me back in mid March that Davis and Jones would combine for what they did, That every position player would be available for almost every game (except 2b), 4 offensive All Stars, Tilman becomes a very solid #2, Brian Roberts
provided what he did, We lead in HRs, Manny evolved so quickly and would lead the league in DBs and among the Hit leaders, We would smash all fielding records, and JJ would lead again with 50 saves??? I would of guaranteed we won the East.
Does anyone have a stat how many games we led and/or were tied after the 5th? It wouldn't surprise me if we led the league in this stat too.
I thought in mid March our SP was deep enough that we would start a fresh, healthy, talented or deserving starter among the 12 candidates we had. This was with Bundy and Gausman being #11 and #12.
But....1. Hammel did not provide the 200+ inn almost Ace performance that he showed flashes of in 2012. This killed us on a innings standpoint. 2. I wouldn't of predicted that Arrietta, Britton, Matusz (went to the pen), SJohnson, Bundy, Gausman and even Wada would combine to give us almost Zero as Starters. I am going to guess it was about 5 wins and 7 ish ERA. None of them stepped up and most regressed.
This caused the pen to break down. The pen was good in April and Sept...Why, cuz they were fresh. I even believe the offensive wore down due to playing so many close stressful games.
So, where is it going to improve for next year? Cant ask more from Tilman inninngs wise. Chen and Norris cant. We cant count on Gonzo giving more than he did. Gausman is too much of a high pitch count K pitcher. I think he will be great but he has a way to go to be a 210 inn+ guy. And we wont ask him to go 200 after only doing 130 this year. So where are we going to improve in this area to get past the 6th or to not burn out the Pen?
I believe we should focus on an innings eater that might not be a #1 type. Not sure who but I think this should be the scouting/Front office priority in the off season. An RA Dickey type, low 4 ERA and 220 innings would be huge to us. Thats 40 innings off the Pen totals. I am not saying trade for Dickey...I just believe his type of stats would take the pressure off the rest of the staff. We might have to trade a Chen and/or Norris type to get this.
Bottom line, with the exception of Tilman, everything that could go wrong just about did this year among the starters. It took a possible great year into a 85 win year.