Record: 39-42. Change on last season: +10
"The next 40 games are going to define where we're going to be, so it's very important to know that there is some urgency to it. We have struggled, and it's been too long. It's been a full month and the good teams don't struggle any longer than that, or even that long." -- Bob Melvin
Okay - make that the next 40 - not counting last night's game. For to describe what we did as "struggling" would be generous in the extreme. True, Javier Vazquez probably didn't deserve to get tagged for all seven runs, since between Lopez and Koplove, it took our bullpen four attempts to get that pesky third out in the seventh innings.
Indeed, Vazquez was more than fine through the front three innings, not allowing a single hit, but after Drew homered to lead off the fourth, things started to fall apart. Another homer greeted Vazquez at the start of the fifth, and four runs in the seventh finally put this one well beyond our reach.
With hindsight, however, one run would have been just as adequate for the Dodgers' purposes. We managed just three singles off former D'back Brad Penny, and Franquelis Osoria - and one of those was by Vazquez, keeping his season average up at a healthy .276, which remains better than half last night's starting lineup.
Penny was part of the trade that brought Matt Mantei to town from Florida. While that deal certainly had its moments, looking at the current state of our pitching, this is not a transaction that will go into the Diamondbacks Hall of Fame. Says Penny, "I talked to Buck Showalter and the guys over there after that. They didn't want to do it. It was all ownership that made the call." Chalk that one up to Joe Jr. and Jerry Colangelo, I guess.
And so we reach the exact half-way point of the year - 39 wins is certainly within credible shouting distance of my pre-season estimate 75 wins. Mind you, this is a team that has won only four of the last fifteen contests: if that level of performance is kept up, it won't be long before my prediction is going to have a rose-tinted glow of optimism to it.
Thanks to Devin for ploughing a lone furrow through the trauma, thinly disguised as a baseball game, and William K for providing a note of optimism at the end. I'm still working on the Heroes and Zeroes for June, but just realised today's game is an afternoon one, so need to get this up immediately, with a swift preview for the looming contest to follow almost immediately.