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Touch ‘Em All: Diamondbacks show talents in South Beach

Do you hear that?

I sure do. It’s the sound of a chorus singing hallelujah
because finally Kirk Gibson made the move I (and several
others) have been calling for.

Patrick Corbin is in, Josh Collmenter is out.

Talk about an immediate impact. Corbin was very
good in his first big league start on Monday, throwing
five and two-thirds innings and only giving up three runs
in a 9-5 win over the Miami Marlins.

If Corbin’s good outing is any sign of things to come, the
future is very, very bright for the D-backs. Not just
because of the current rotation, which is looking pretty
good, but because arms like Corbin’s are in abundance in
the D-backs organization.

If pitching really does win championships… I won’t jinx
it, but you see what I’m getting at.

Getting back to the series, I was really impressed by how
well the Diamondbacks bounced back from a very poor series
against the Phillies. Just like last year, the young
players on this team are stepping up big time and are
making a legitimate impact.

With all the success that the younger players have been
enjoying, I have to say, I am worried about Ryan Roberts.
There were questions as to whether Tatman is an every day
third baseman in the spring, and unfortunately for
Roberts, those questions are going to start to resurface
if he doesn’t start to swing the bat well.

The whole situation is one I would really not like to see
unfold; I like Ryan Roberts, and so do the fans. But if he
isn’t producing, there is no time to be sentimental,
Gibson
will have to make a change.

Overall this series was a very good one for the
Diamondbacks. They took their talents to South Beach, and
came away victorious.


Series Report Card

Record: A

While this really should have been a sweep, the D-backs
needed to get back into a winning groove, and
taking three of four from the Marlins did just that. But
blowing
a nice outing by Ian Kennedy cost them the A+ this time.

Offense: A

There were stretches of this series when the offense would
go completely dormant. In fact, that has been a pretty
consistent theme all year with the D-backs and that needs
to change. However, taking it to Josh Johnson on Sunday
really impressed me; tagging him for five runs is no easy
feat. And for that matter, neither is putting up seven on
Mark Buehrle.

Defense: A+

The D-backs defense in the first two games of this series
was absolutely outstanding. Ryan Roberts, Aaron Hill and
Willie Bloomquist played as well as they have all year in
the field. Sunday’s three-error performance wasn’t good,
but
I’m so impressed by Friday and Saturday that I’m willing
to forgive them for their three errors and hand out the
A+.

Pitching: A-

Joe Saunders… Let me repeat myself, Joe, “Ace of the
staff” Saunders. Think I’m kidding? The man has the
best ERA in baseball!
Yes, you read that right. The
combination of Saunders, Kennedy, Miley and Corbin’s
performances equals out to an A, but the bad performances
by some members of the bullpen drag the grade down to a
little bit.

Managing: A-

The only problem I have with anything Kirk Gibson did in
this series was that he decided not to pitch to Jose
Reyes, but to pitch to Hanley Ramirez Saturday afternoon.
From my perspective, you either pitch to Reyes or walk the
bases loaded with two outs and pitch to Morrison. However,
Gibson finally made the call to bring up Patrick Corbin
from the minors, and for that, I salute him.

Series Awards

Play of the Series:

The play of this series, and possibly the defensive play
of the season for the D-backs, was Willie Bloomquist’s
behind-the-back flip to second in the first inning on
Sunday. Watching that live I had no idea how he got the
ball to second in time; it was absolutely unbelievable.

Villain of the Series:

This series’ villain award goes to Marlins’ third baseman
Hanley Ramirez. He took it personally when Jose Reyes was
walked to get to him on Saturday, and he got the game-
winning single in the bottom of the ninth to help Miami
avoid the sweep.

Kirk Gibson Quote of the Series:

“He’s athletic, he commands the strike zone, [he] embraces
all the things we want our pitchers to do. He’s been
pretty good in the minor leagues and he seems to be
getting better and better.” – Talking about Patrick
Corbin.

Player of the Series:

I’m going to give the POTS award to Willie Bloomquist this
time around. He did pretty well at the plate this series,
but his defense was superb when he was in at shortstop,
and without some of the plays he made the Marlins would
have probably scored a lot more runs.

The “We Get it, you Won the Game” Award:

This award goes to Hanley Ramirez for his celebration
after his game-winning single on Saturday. First off, he
celebrated like he just hit a walk-off grand slam in game
seven of the World Series… Excuse me, Mr. Ramirez, it’s
April. Second, he glared at the D-backs dugout as if to
say “you better not walk someone to get to me again,
that’s disrespectful.” Really? Is it? You were 0-for-your
last-26 before that at-bat. Next time, celebrate with some
class, please.

Best Moment of the Series:

Say what you want about me for picking this as my moment
of the series, but I’m doing it anyway. The best moment
for me was when the Marlins hit a home run on Saturday. I
have been waiting all season to see that gigantic light
bright of a home run celebrator go off, shoot water, spin
the Marlin, light up and whatever else it does. I missed
it the first time, but on Saturday I got to see it in all
of its glory. I was actually amazed by how much I liked
it. Sure beats the big apple in Citi Field…

The Road Ahead:

The Diamondbacks continue their NL East road trip with a
three-game series in Washington against the hot starting
Nationals to open the month of May. Watch for newly
promoted Bryce Harper in this series, he’ll have a
monstrous amount of hype behind every at-bat he has, but
if he can produce is another story entirely.