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Big League Stew

10 numbers for the NLDS: Diamondbacks vs. Brewers

Alex Remington
Big League Stew

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As the postseason continues, Big League Stew's Alex Remington will take a look at the statistics that might make a difference in each series. Up next are the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers, who will kick off their series Saturday afternoon at Miller Park.

61 The number of stolen bases the Diamondbacks have allowed, the fewest in baseball. Miguel Montero (pictured) is a terrific hitter, but he might be just as fearsome behind the plate, leading the league in caught-stealing percentage and likely intimidating many more runners into simply staying at first.

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3.71 The Brewers' number of pitches pitches seen per plate appearance, tied for the fewest in baseball. That isn't exactly a good thing, but it isn't necessarily a handicap: Ryan Braun is the kind of hitter who walks to the plate with a green light to swing at any old pitch he likes. The Brewers have a very top-heavy offense, with a serious drop-off after No. 5 hitter Rickie Weeks, so if they don't score in the first two innings, the opposing pitcher won't necessarily have to work too hard to cut through the bottom half of the lineup. But their first five hitters can hang a crooked number on anyone in baseball. {YSP:MORE}

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9 The number of pinch runners used by the D-backs, fewest in baseball. Clearly, they are confident in their baserunners' ability to take the extra base when necessary — and they clearly have well-balanced speed, considering they stole 133 bases this year, second in the NL, with six different players having between 13 and 22 steals. They also grounded into the fewest double plays in the majors.

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36 percent The percentage of inherited runners that Brewers relievers allowed to score, second-most in baseball, behind only the woeful Mariners bullpen. Closer John Axford has had a fine year, but he is generally not a mid-inning replacement: he inherited exactly one runner the entire year. (That runner was stranded.) The other two most-used relievers, Marco Estrada and Kameron Loe, were a lot less sure-handed with runners on base, allowing hitters a combined .820 OPS with runners aboard.

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18 percent The Diamondbacks' swinging-strike percentage, highest in baseball. The D-backs cleaned house in the offseason, getting rid of two of their most strikeout-prone hitters in Adam LaRoche and Mark Reynolds, and they fell from the most strikeouts in baseball to just eighth this year — but they still swung and missed more than any other team. (The team with the most strikeouts in 2011 was the Washington Nationals, who signed LaRoche, though he only played 43 games for them.)

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185 The Brewers home run total, best in the NL. (The Yankees, Rangers, Red Sox, Orioles, and Blue Jays all had more, but then again, they all have the benefit of the DH.) The Brew Crew had a spread out home run attack, with seven players hitting double-digit homers and four with at least 20. By a similar token, they also led the league in Isolated Power at .164 — but the D-backs were right behind them, at .163.

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60 percent The Brewers' quality start percentage, third-best in the National League behind the vaunted Phillies and Giants rotations. (Arizona was fifth, at 56 percent.) The Brewers hard/soft 1-2 punch of Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum had fine years this year, but Yovani Gallardo and Randy Wolf were also solid all year.

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8.2 percent Arizona's extra-base hit rate, best in the NL, and just a tick better than the second-place Brewers, at 8.1 percent. They were fourth in the league in doubles, fifth in triples and fourth in homers — they have speed, gap power and over-the-fence power.

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10.5 Greinke's strikeouts per nine innings, best among all qualified NL starters. (Braves rookie starter Brandon Beachy was at 10.7 K/9, but he was approximately 20 innings short of qualifying for the ERA title.) Greinke had an up-and-down season in his introduction to the National League, but his strikeouts are more a measure of his true talent than his 3.83 ERA, and they're a big reason that no one on Arizona looks forward to facing him.

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68 percent Ian Kennedy's career wins that came this season. It was, to say the least, surprising that the NL wins leader was a 26-year old who came into the season with a 10-14 career record and a 4.33 ERA in parts of four seasons with the New York Yankees and Snakes, but he put together a legitimately excellent campaign, making Yankees fans wish they'd dealt Phil Hughes and/or Joba Chamberlain and kept him instead.

Also on Big League Stew: 10 numbers for Cardinals-Phillies, 10 numbers for Rays-Rangers10 numbers for Tigers-Yankees

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