04 April 2008

Groundhog Day

Arizona fans are griping already. The Diamondbacks are 1 and a half back, after managing just one hit yesterday against zippy newcomer Johnny Cueto. What I want to know is, how do you even stay in a game like this? The Diamondbacks got the one hit, a solo home run naturally, and three walks. The Reds only recorded five hits themselves, but drew nine walks. Yet Arizona lost by a single run, a mere single away from actually taking the game and the series.

How does that happen? First of all, Cueto didnt "throw a one hitter", not in the traditional sense. Impressive as he was, he left after seven innings. Second, another so called "no hitter" was obscured by the 22 year old rook's flashy heroics. The Arizona bullpen quietly threw 4 and 1/3 innings of one hit ball hemselves. Petit. Medders. Slaten. Cruz. The "B" bullpen - the guys who come in when the team's behind. The third factor contributing to such a close game was that David "Stormy" Weathers issued all his team's walks in one inning, which the Dbacks fashioned into a hitless run on a sacrifice fly. In a way, the Reds were lucky. Romero hit the sac fly well, to deep left. If it skips by the plodding Adam Dunn, the Diamondbacks most likely win the game on two hits - while their pitchers (mostly Doug Davis) yielded an embarrassing nine walks.

It's not often you praise a player, who then strikes out four times the following day, but that's what happened with me and my Chris Short Young. Dont worry, Chris. It doesnt change anything I said. Still think you're going to have a very nice year.

Boy, it didnt take the Diamondbacks long to return to last year's league low OPS+, did it? Actually, at 53 they're not quite there yet. The Giants, who shared the OPS+ cellar last year at 89, are plugging away at 46. Four runs in three games.

Grace and Sutton went on and on about the thyroid cancer, disappointing given Davis' express request that the issue not be publicly dwelled on. Not "not mentioned" or "kept from the public" - just not "dwelled on". I think the Diamondbacks owe him that much. Had Davis pitched better, one only wonders the lengths Sutton would have gone to drive home the pathos here, with a prepared melodramatic nugget or two suitable for ESPN, or perhaps his professional portfolio. Davis is a quiet, unassuming 32 year old baseball player, not some official elected to rule the free world. Everyone's aware of the situation already. Please give the buildup a rest, Daron. Just because you speak in a respectful tone, doesnt mean you're being respectful.

Boys travel to Colorado for the Rockies' day opener, where the God Squad will unfurl their 2007 NLCS championship banner before a rabid, packed house - and the very team they vanquished. Last year's pair of National League finalists currently share last place in the West, with the San Francisco Giants. Micah Owings and Mark Redman strive against one another for separation.
(photos courtesy of AP)


Russell said...

It's way too early to make any judgements, however the hitting so far has been a real worry in that it is so similar to last year. The assumption has always been that the young players will improve in this area, if they don't, then Yikes!!

Michael Norton said...

Do me a favor. Don't say anything nice about me. I strike out enough as it is.

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