Touch 'Em All: D-backs swept by Cardinals
That's what the Diamondbacks and their fans have to say to themselves after their worst series of the season, a sweep at the hands of the defending champion Cardinals.
Lets go ahead and start with Monday's game…
Obviously, you don't expect Joe Saunders to have a top- five ERA in the Majors for the entire season. But you also (I know I didn't) don't expect him to completely implode on Monday. He had given up 5 earned runs in his first 5 starts… he gave up 5 earned runs in the first 12 batters he saw on Monday.
Another thing you may not expect, especially with the way the Diamondbacks had been starting out ball games early in the season, was for the Snakes to be digging themselves into big holes two games in a row. But that is exactly what they did, as they fell 7-0 on Monday, and then fell 6-0 on Tuesday.
No team can realistically hope to come back from deficits like that, even though the D-backs almost did on Monday.
For the third time this season on Tuesday, I've heard these words come out of Ian Kennedy's mouth, "I just didn't have it."
I know sometimes players "have it" and sometimes they don't, but it seems like more often than not this season Ian Kennedy hasn't had it. Perhaps it is the fact that he is now regarded as "the ace," and teams give him their best shot. That I don't know, but whatever it is, Kennedy needs to get his act together, because there really isn't a 1, a 2 or a 3 starter in this rotation right now, and that is a huge problem.
But now for some good news, Chris Young took batting practice Tuesday and looked pretty good. There still isn't an exact timetable for his return, but optimistically it could be within the next few weeks.
One thing's for sure… it can't come soon enough.
Series Report Card
Record: F The Diamondbacks were just swept. No game was particularly close. Every game was ugly. This grade is really self- explanatory.
Offense: D The Diamondbacks offense was held scoreless in 23 of the 27 innings of this series. And although their 6-run sixth inning on Monday tied a franchise record, their team batting average has been hovering around the .250 mark for a while now. It's not a good thing when the two best batting averages in Wednesday's lineup were Wade Miley and Lyle Overbay. Chris Young, get well soon.
Defense: B+ The defense continued to look good, as it has been the only consistent bright spot for this team. The infield saved the Diamondbacks from giving up more than the 18 runs they did with some nice double plays and a few great individual plays.
Pitching: C Joe Saunders came into the series with a 1.24 ERA. After allowing 6 earned runs in just three and a third on Monday, his ERA is now 2.50. Ian Kennedy came into the series with a 3.23 ERA. After he allowed 6 earned runs his ERA is now at 3.93. A few weeks ago, I was just worried about the bullpen, now that Ian Kennedy has lost back-to- back starts for the first time since 2010, I'm worried about the starters too.
Managing: B Kirk Gibson is doing what he can with his lineup. He's had a new one almost every single game this year. It's not his fault the team isn't hitting, pitching or closing games. But it will be soon if they don't turn it around.
Play of the Series: This series there is no play, but an inning that gets an award. The sixth inning on Monday tied a franchise record for runs and was the most alive I have seen the D-backs' offense all season. The stadium was electric, and the way the D-backs have been playing, that is something I haven't seen to much of.
The "Bye-Bye Baseball" Award: This award goes to Cody Ransom for his absolute moon shot of a home run in the sixth inning on Monday. The home run measured at 452 feet and landed up in Friday's Front Row. Needless to say not too many players have hit the ball up there. Kudos to you, Mr. Ransom.
Villain of the Series: This series' villain award goes to Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran, his grand slam and 6 RBIs on Tuesday single-handedly beat the Diamondbacks.
Gibson Justin Upton Quote of the Series:
Usually I like to go with a quote from the skipper, but
this series no quote was better than what Justin Upton had
to say to reporters who were comparing this year to last
year's D-backs team… "It's not about last year, it's about
this team this year going out and trying to win ballgames.
We can't sit here and harp about last year about how well
we played and how we got ourselves out of a funk."
Player of the Series: With poor performances littered around the board, this series will have a vacated player of the series award, as I don't feel that anyone deserves the award.
The "Dikembe Mutombo Finger Wag" Award: This award goes to Cody Ransom. And before you say that he got the "bye-bye baseball" award for his monster home run on Monday, keep in mind that he struck out seven, yes seven times on Monday and Tuesday. When I asked Kirk Gibson about the struggles, he told me that the Cardinals were just throwing a lot of sliders at him. If Cody Ransom wants to even be considered as an every day guy, he has to be able to hit a slider. But until he can, I give him the Dikembe Mutombo Finger Wag.
Best Moment of the Series: The best moment of this series was before first pitch on Monday, when Lt. Col. Paul Aguirre who had been overseas for over a year caught, the first pitch from his kids and surprised them with his return. It brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face. It was a great moment to behold.
The Road Ahead: The Diamondbacks continue their short homestand with a three-game series against the Giants. This series is crucial for the D-backs, who have now lost 5 straight games and are reeling at this point in the season.
- Eric Chavez - Friday May 17D-Backs 3rd baseman Eric Chavez joined Burns & Gambo to discuss his recent hot streak.
- Tim Kurkjian - Thursday May 16ESPN MLB Insider Tim Kurkjian joined Burns and Gambo to discuss the development of Diamondbacks star
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday May 15KT talks to Doug & Wolf about the big win over the Braves!
- Keith Law, ESPN MLB Insider - Monday May 13Law talks to Doug & Wolf about Justin Upton's return to AZ.
- Heath Bell, D-backs pitcher - Friday May 10Bell talks to Doug & Wolf about Sushi and the mentality of a closer