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Touch ‘Em All: D-backs lose series to L.A.

Stick a fork in ‘em.

That’s right, I’m calling it, the 2012 Arizona
Diamondbacks are out of the NL West race.

Yes, I know they won convincingly on Wednesday, but let’s
be honest about that Dodgers lineup; four of the starters
were playing in Triple-A on Opening Day, and Andre Ethier
wasn’t in the game either.

For the record, I’m not saying the D-backs can’t make the
playoffs, because they do still have a shot at the wild
card, but their chance to repeat as the NL West champions
has come and gone.

Why you ask?

Let’s say the Dodgers play .500 baseball (which is highly
unlikely in itself) for the remainder of the season… The
Diamondbacks would need to go 69-47 just to tie the
Dodgers for the division lead. Now I don’t know about you,
but I can’t see this D-backs team going 22 games over .500
for the rest of the season.

The Diamondbacks have one consistency right now… and that
is having no consistency. One night, the hitting will look
atrocious, but the bullpen will look good. Another night,
the hitting will look good, but the starting pitching will
look terrible. Then the hitting and pitching will be okay,
but the fielding is bad. Catch my drift?

Hopefully for the D-backs the absolute thrashing they
handed the Dodgers on Wednesday will get the team going,
however I doubt that will be the case.

Looking back at this series, I was glad to see the D-backs
bats come alive on Tuesday and Wednesday. But this three
game set with the Dodgers exemplified my point as to the
D-backs consistent lack of consistency. The D-backs had a
different problem each day: Monday, the hitting & starting
pitching, Tuesday, the bullpen, Wednesday… well they
didn’t make it to 20 runs.

The issue that I have is that on nights the D-backs don’t
play all-around great baseball, like Monday and Tuesday,
they are not finding ways to pick up the struggling parts
to get wins. It seems to me that if one part of the D-
backs struggles, the team can’t buy a win, no matter who
the opponent.

That is why the D-backs are done in the NL West.

They are consistently inconsistent, and that isn’t
something that can be changed overnight.

Series Report Card

Record: D The D-backs needed and I stress needed to
win this series. They entered Monday 9.5 games back of
the Dodgers in the NL West, and they ended the series 10.5
back. D-backs fans should start keeping an eye on the NL
East, because more than likely if the Diamondbacks are to
make the playoffs, they’ll be competing with teams in that
division for the wild card spots.

Offense: B+ The D-backs offense did not look good
on Monday, Chris
Capuano held the Snakes to 4 hits over the course of 6
innings of work and the D-backs never got close. On
Tuesday the O looked much better, the D-backs had a lot of
timely hitting that led them to a seemingly comfortable
lead of 4-0 early
in the game. When the score was knotted at 6-all in the
eighth inning, Lyle Overbay’s clutch solo home run was
great for the team, although it was not the winning run I
thought it had been. And then there was Wednesday, but I
think 11 runs are pretty self-explanatory.

Defense: C+ The defense was not overly impressive
in this series.
Whether you look at one of Josh Bell’s errors at third
as an example, or some bad fielding by the pitchers, who
threw a few balls away, the D has been much better at
times this season. Chris Young still needs to settle back
into his role in center field, I could tell based off of
some of his reactions to balls hit his way that he isn’t
quite comfortable out there just yet.

Pitching: B Unfortunately for Patrick Corbin, he
came up at the wrong
time and did not pitch as well as he is capable of. After
his loss on Monday he was sent back down to the minors,
and with Daniel Hudson slated to come back on Sunday, that
is the right move. Trevor Cahill pitched what could be his
best game as a Diamondback on Tuesday, only to have it
squandered away by terrible pitching from the bullpen. Joe
Saunders pitched well on Wednesday, not that it mattered,
I’m fairly certain Kirk Gibson could have pitched the team
to victory with that kind of run support.

Managing: B This was an overall well managed series
by Kirk Gibson, as
most usually are. However, I did notice something that I
didn’t like from the skipper. With the game-tying run on
third on Tuesday and Justin Upton on first, the D-backs
had Jason Kubel at the plate with a 2-2 count. Instead of
sending Upton on the pitch (the catcher wouldn’t have
risked the throw with the tying run on 3rd) Gibson kept J-
Up near 1st which resulted in a game-ending double play,
instead of a game-tying run.

Series Awards

Play of the Series: The play of the series was Lyle
Overbay’s solo home run in
the 8th inning on Tuesday. At the time, the game was tied
at six, and Overbay’s towering homer to right field was a
clutch hit that the D-backs have not had a lot of this
season. Unfortunately the bullpen let the game slip away,
but it was nice to see Overbay come through in the clutch.

Player of the Series: The player of this series was
Ryan Roberts, he was the
offensive catalyst in the 2-hole on Tuesday and Wednesday,
going 3-for-7 with 3 runs scored and 3 RBI in the series.
about a good sign from a player who was just demoted from
everyday to utility.

The “Dikembe Mutombo Finger Wag” Award: This award
goes to J.J. Putz, the Diamondbacks closer.
After looking good over the weekend, Putz came in and blew
a crucial save for the D-backs after walking two batters
in the top of the ninth.

Best Moment of the Series: The best moments of this
series for me occurred on
Wednesday, a foul ball was careening right at me up in the
press box, however it nose-dived at the last second,
hitting the awning in front of me. Why was this the best?
Normally I’d be overjoyed by a chance to grab a foul ball,
but I wasn’t looking, so had it been a little higher, I
may have a big lump on my head.

The Road Ahead: The Diamondbacks continue their
home stand against the
Brewers over Memorial Day weekend. This will be the first
time (not counting Spring Training) the Brewers have been
in Arizona since the playoffs, so I am intrigued to see
what kind of reception they get.

D-backs Interviews and Segments