D-backs need to capitalize on golden opportunity

May 17, 2012, 2:45 PM | Updated: May 18, 2012, 9:02 pm

It’s only mid-May, but the clock is ticking on the Arizona
Diamondbacks.

Currently 8.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the
NL West, the D-backs’ lackluster 16-22 start has applied
pressure early in the season to “get their act together”.
Overcoming a double-digit deficit in the standings is
never easy, so Kirk Gibson’s club finds itself in a
tenuous position less than one-fourth of the way through
the schedule.

There is hope on the horizon: center fielder Chris Young,
shortstop Stephen Drew and starting pitcher Daniel Hudson
are all getting closer to returning from injuries.
Getting three main cogs back will undoubtedly give the
Diamondbacks a boost.

But until then, the D-backs have been presented with
another golden opportunity to try and exploit. Los
Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, the best player in
baseball not named Josh Hamilton, is on the disabled list
with a strained left hamstring for the next two weeks.

And quite simply, the Dodgers’ offense stinks without Matt
Kemp.

Don’t believe me? In the three games Kemp has missed
since being shelved, the Dodgers have scored a total of
six runs, are batting .229 and are 1-for-14 as a team
with runners in scoring position.

With Kemp in the middle of the lineup this season, the
Dodgers averaged 4.5 runs per game and hit .272 with
runners in scoring position.

It’s admittedly a tiny sample size, but Kemp’s absence has
already been felt.

During an offensive struggle, teams will talk about
keeping a positive attitude and approach and will look
inward to cure their ills. The Diamondbacks are saying
and doing those things, which is the right approach.

But the D-backs have also had a wide door opened up for
them, and Kemp’s injury and the Dodgers’ offensive
difficulties could make Arizona’s climb out of the hole
they’ve dug for themselves a little easier to get out of.

Penguin Air

Vince Marotta

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury walks off the field after the Los Angeles Rams defeate...
Vince Marotta

Kingsbury, Murray look like deer in headlights in 1st playoff game

What happened in L.A. Monday night wasn't a game. A game requires two teams to show up. Only one did. And that team wasn't the Cardinals.
5 months ago
(AP Photo/Jose Juarez)...
Vince Marotta

Cardinals’ performance in Detroit leads to more questions than answers

All factors considered, I believe the Cardinals played the worst first half of football since they moved to the Valley 33 years ago.
6 months ago
Follow @Vincemarotta...
Vince Marotta

Revisit history: Valley teams would look better in uniforms of the past

The four big league sports franchises in the Valley would be well-served in reliving their pasts when it comes to fashion.
2 years ago
Budda Baker (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images), Kyler Murray (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri), Rober...
Vince Marotta

Ranking all 53 of Steve Keim’s Arizona Cardinals draft picks

Steve Keim has engineered seven different NFL Drafts for the Arizona Cardinals. Here's a ranking of all 53 players he has selected during his tenure.
2 years ago
Tom Cruise stars as Stefan Djordevic in 1983's All the Right Moves. (Screenshot)...
Vince Marotta

Here are some underrated sports movies to enjoy during quarantine

With everyone having extra time on their hands, here's a recommendation of some sports movies you may enjoy while staying at home.
2 years ago
Outside linebacker T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates with teammates after an inte...
Vince Marotta

Fourth-down decisions, execution continue to haunt Kingsbury, Cardinals

For at least the second time in the 2019 season, a failed fourth-down play call cost the Arizona Cardinals dearly in a game they'd go on to lose.
3 years ago
D-backs need to capitalize on golden opportunity