The Diamondbacks opening series: a hysterical overreaction

Two games in? Seems about the right time to engage in ridiculous extrapolation, laughably small sample sizes and knee jerk hyperbole, as we look back to see what we learned from the series in Australia.

The good

Paul Goldschmidt: 324 hits

Goldie simply continued where he left off last season, with two hits in each contest, extending his hitting streak to 21 consecutive games, and still counting. There hasn't been a longer streak by a Diamondback since Tony Womack went 24 in the 2000 campaign. However, Goldschmidt is also on pace for 0 home-runs. 0 RBI and 0 walks, which would definitely be a little lower than we'd like to see. However, he is currently also on track to become the first qualifying hitter in major-league history to go through a season without striking out. So, bottom line after the first series: Goldie gonna Goldie.

Wade Miley: 264 strikeouts

Though the final numbers might not have been too impressive - three runs in five innings - I was actually pretty impressed with Miley's start, especially considering he only knew he was going to Australia about 24 hours before the plane left. He was partly, the victim of a wind-assisted home-run. got no help from his defense (I'm looking at Miggy and Trumbosaurus Rex there) or BABIP, and you could also argue that the home-plate umpire appeared to give Kershaw a rather more generous strike-zone than Miley. While there may be weak spots in the rotation - we'll get to those soon enough - I'm optimistic Miley won't be one of them.

Mark Trumbo: 81 home-runs

If you had Trumbo in the "first D-back to hit a home-run in 2014" sweepstakes, congratulations, because you're a winner. This is my shocked face. There was one long-ball off the bat of an Arizona hitter in Sydney, but it was good to see it come off a tough closer, in the shape of Kenley Jansen. Admittedly, we were down by four runs - it wasn't even a save situation - but  it bodes well for further, higher-leverage encounters down the road. The prospect of facing Goldschmidt and/or Trumbo in a one-run game will give closers fits, as they''re the only 2014 team-mates to each have had 34+ home-runs last year.

Addison Reed: 27.00 K/9

Can't really ask for much better in the way of a Diamondbacks debut for our new closer, settling down after a lead-off walk to strike out the next three batters faced. If I'm a little concerned about his control - there was also a wild pitch and a hit batter in that inning for Reed - there was no doubting the filthiness of his stuff. Of Reed's 11 strikes in the inning, seven were swinging and three looking. Put another way, when the Dodgers took the bats off the shoulder, they made any contact at all one time in eight, Juan Uribe fouling off the first offering his at-bat. Y*s**l P**g saw three pitches, swung at all three and could have been using his penis, for all the good it did him.

The bad

Martin Prado: 81 GIDPs

Okay, any one else already thinking that having Prado in the clean-up spot is a (capital letters, please) BAD IDEA? We saw in the sixth inning of the second game why, as Aaron Hill walked and Goldschmidt singled, to give us two on with nobody out, until Prado killed the rally with a double-play. He's just fortunate that was the only one of the series, as up until that ninth-inning rally, every time he put the ball in play, it was a groundout to the infield - luckily, with no-one on base. For now, Prado is dead-last among position players in WP, at -21%, and if this keeps up, it may not be long before he and Trumbo are flip-flopped in the order.

Josh Collmenter: 18.00 BB/9

That was not the Josh Collmenter we signed up. We signed up for the one with immaculate control, baffling hitters with his overhand delivery, not the one allowing five batters of seven faced to reach base, on three hits and a pair of walks. There was more than a month last season when Collmenter didn't issue two free-passes: April 9-May 24, Josh threw 13.1 IP and allowed one walk, so this performance was certainly what I'd call unCollmenteresque. Hang on, I have to replace my spell-checker which appears just to have blown up for some reason. Josh was one of the lynch-pins of the bullpen last year, and needs to stop it right now.

Miguel Montero: 81 stolen bases and 162 wild pitches allowed

Miggy had an odd series. I was quite impressed with his at-bats, especially against a pair of tough lefties. He hung in there well, didn't overswing, and could easily have had more than a couple of hits. But his defense was awful. The 2013 Diamondbacks allowed more wild pitches than anyone else last season, and got off to a bad start here. Throw in the dropped third strike which likely cost Arizona a run in the first game, and most embarrassingly of all, allowing a stolen-base to Adrian Gonzalez. Before that, the only active player with 1,000+ games and fewer SB than A-Gon was catcher Victor Martinez. Now, we have to look at this for the next week:

Trevor Cahill: 11.25 ERA

Goes to show, sometimes a bad spring does indeed foreshadow a bad start to the season. But I don't think we were prepared for four walks and a hit batter in four innings of work, with eight hits and only one K. At least Cahill was under few illusions regarding his 2014 debut performance:  "I was getting hit around in spring, but I felt like my command was close. I was able to throw strikes when I had to. Today, I don't know if it was just the adrenaline, trying to do too much, trying to be too fine. They were swinging at some first pitches and I think I tried to expand a little bit and started falling behind... I was just out there trying to do anything I could to get through it."

The ugly

Trumbo_medium

324 errors

Four errors committed over the two games - and neither the above nor Trumbo's failed attempt at a diving catch, later in the same day. were even included in those, which went to Montero (2), Aaron Hill and Prado. Maybe the extremely quick playing surface was a factor; still, when you're going up against a team which is generally regarded as superior, you can't afford to do anything except play soundly, and get the basics right. That was an area in which the Diamondbacks failed miserably: while admittedly, the Dodgers didn't do much better, we failed to capitalize on the bonus chances handed to us, so paid the penalty. And the penalty would be...

0-162 record

That's it. Might as well go home. Oh, hang on: we did already. The bad news? It's the first time in 15 years that the D-backs have tasted defeat in both their opening games. The good news? The last time it happened was 1999, and Arizona regrouped, winning 100 games for the only time in franchise history.. We actually lost our first four contests that year. So it's probably a little too early to pronounce the 2014 season as dead and buried, even as we have lost every game we ever played on the entire festering hellhole continent of poisonous animals which is Australia. :) But these defeats certainly did not make the task any easier over the remaining 160.

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