Arizona Diamondbacks and the disappearing bats

Jun 9, 2011, 8:09 PM | Updated: 9:24 pm

The Diamondbacks’ bullpen has carried the team for most of the season, a key reason for their surge to the top of the NL West.

Struggling for the first time since last season (or at least, it seems that way), everyone is quick to point the finger at the relievers for the team’s recent mini-skid. Maybe, though, the finger should point towards the batter’s box instead of the mound.

“Here’s what I think about all this,” Dave Burns said on Sports 620 KTAR’s Sports Interactive, “I think, like any good magic trick, what the Arizona Diamondbacks are doing right now is distracting us from the real issue.

“We’re all looking at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ bullpen right now…did you see what the Diamondbacks hit with runners in scoring position,” Burns asked.

We did, and it was horrifying. Over their last six games the D-backs have stranded 47 runners while sporting a team batting average (.229) that is lower than Thursday starter Josh Collmenter’s listed weight (235 lbs.).

And that’s precisely Burns’ point.

“I don’t give a crap how good your bullpen is, if you’re putting that kind of pressure on them night in and night out by not getting the big hit with runners in scoring position,” he said, giving the pitchers a pass. “I don’t care if you’ve got the best bullpen of all time there, eventually, when your margin of error is so slim you’re going to screw it up.”

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