So it hasn’t exactly been all roses and rainbows for the Diamondbacks this year. A 38-51 record is good for the third worst first half for any NL team, better than the Padres and the Nationals. Inept hitting and wacky pitching is a far cry from what most people expected to see happen to this team. Perhaps they’d contend for the National League West. Maybe a second place finish would be in their sights, just like last year. But they’re nine-and-a-half games out of third.
The Cleveland Indians and the D’backs really have a lot in common. “Wow, these guys were great in 2007! Let’s keep them all around!” As J. Walter Weatherman would say to general manager Josh Byrnes, “and THAT’S … why you make roster moves.” Cleveland’s record is eerily similar to Arizona’s (35-54, last in the AL Central), and you can probably imagine that both team’s GMs might want to start updating their resumes.
But for now, it’s not time to look to the near future, for it is far too painful. Let’s just remember what happened in the first half, lest we repeat it. Here are the low-lights from the first three-or-so months:
June 28 — Diamondbacks lose 12-8 to the Angels. Four errors lead to five unearned runs. The math you learned in third grade should tell you who ought’ve won this game. This loss also extended their worst losing streak of the season to five.
July 9 — Coming off their first sweep of the season, Arizona takes a 7-0 lead over the Marlins after five innings. Final score: Marlins 14, Arizona 7. Ten runners alone crossed home in the eighth. This is why that first sweep didn’t happen for them until three months into the season, against the Padres.
May 25 — It’s that damn eighth again. Up 7-1, the Diamondbacks allow five runs to the Padres in the eighth, blow the save in the ninth, and finally cease the bloodletting in the 10th after San Diego homered to win 9-7.
May 9 — The Washington Nationals gift wrapped, in every possible way, the win for Arizona. The D’backs walked nine tines (“Nine times? Nine times.”), as well as got eight hits and reached base twice on an error. The Nats had to use a total of seven pitchers. So why did Washington win 2-1? Try 16 left on base and 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Indian givers, everyone of of ‘em. (Except Miguel Montero, the pinch hitter who connected for the lone “clutch” hit.)
Brandon Webb Gets Hurt, Possibly Forever — That Opening Day “start,” if you can call it that, was all anyone ever saw from him in 2009. He may come back in September, which is the best case scenario, meaning any more setbacks and seven percent of you were right.
The New Manager Is Not Really A Manager At All — There are tons of managers at all levels of baseball. When the D’backs canned Bob Melvin, they went with A.J. Hinch, a man with playing experience but absolutely no managerial experience. Sure, many ex-catchers make great managers, but Hinch still hasn’t done anything to change the mindset (read: record) of the team. It hasn’t been a disaster, but, um, wouldn’t it have made more sense to actually hire, y’know, a manager? I hear Eric Wedge will be available soon.