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Heroes and Zeroes for June

No matter how you try and spin it - and heaven knows, the D'backs organization has tried - no month in which you post a 9-19 record is going to be acceptable. We may have ranked fifth in the NL in runs scored and OPS, and been second only to the Reds in homers, but we still conceded 50-odd more runs than we scored, thanks to a pitching staff with a collective ERA of 5.80, against which opposing hitters batted .299.

Not to say there weren't bright spots, and if you followed the team more than casually, you'll know what they were. The first-base platoon were first-rate, while Green had one monster week, and performed credibly elsewhere. So, let's scurry round the roster for the month of June, and see what we can find...

HITTING

             HR RBI    BA  OPS  SLG   OPS
Chad Tracy    2   6  .420 .481 .638 1.118 
Shawn Green   8  25  .306 .377 .663 1.040 
Tony Clark    7  24  .333 .341 .642  .983 
Luis Gonzalez 5  19  .323 .402 .545  .947 
Alex Cintron  1  11  .328 .338 .469  .807 
Royce Clayton 1   7  .299 .386 .403  .789 
Troy Glaus    4  12  .255 .351 .436  .788 
C. Counsell   4   9  .241 .289 .411  .700 
Jose Cruz Jr. 5   7  .165 .283 .354  .637 
Chris Snyder  1   3  .235 .307 .324  .630
Q. McCracken  0   2  .237 .293 .289  .582 
[min 35 at-bats]
  • 1st Base: Tony Clark + Chad Tracy. Another excellent month from the pair, perhaps their best of the season so far - without them, this would have been a catastrophe. Surprised how few RBIs Chad had; you'd expect more from someone hitting .420 for the month. But that's not really his fault. HEROES

  • 2nd Base: Royce Clayton. Also having his best month of the season, Clayton was no longer a major embarrassment at the plate, coming within an inch of .300 for June. His fielding, however, didn't live up to the claimed level of excellence, with some notorious and painful gaffs. NEUTRAL

  • Short-Stop: Craig Counsell. Despite June being the best season of his career for home runs [four matching the number in any previous year], Counsell stopped taking walks: 18 + 14 in April + May, but only six in June. For a leadoff hitter, this is a cardinal sin. Stop swinging for the fences, Craig. ZERO

  • Third-base: Troy Glaus. Questions have to be asked when our star slugger has a lower OPS for the month than Royce Clayton. His knee continues to give him problems, and it now seems to be affecting his batting as well as his running. Four home runs and 12 RBI is not the production we wanted. ZERO

  • Catcher: Chris Snyder. We don't expect great production from catchers, and we're not getting it. Snyder continues to be very solid defensively, and we appreciate the efforts there, even if he occasionally borders on a liability at the plate. Twenty or thirty more points on the BA would be nice. NEUTRAL

  • Left Field: Luis Gonzalez. Mr. Reliable continues to knock the ball out of the park, but can also deliver a bloop single when necessary. His arm in the field showed obvious weakness more than once, but he remains perhaps the best overall hitter in the Diamondbacks line-up. HERO

  • Center Field: Cruz + McCracken. Oh, dear: the sooner Cruz gets his back sorted out the better. Because 13 hits and 26 K's is not acceptable. Though scoring only seven runs and 8 RBIs in a month when you have five homers is flukily impressive. McCracken had one extra-base hit, so was hardly an option. ZEROES

  • Right Field: Shawn Green. Lead the team in homers, RBIs and total bases, while hitting over .300? This is what we hoped for when we signed Green. I do, however, reckon this should be enjoyed while it lasts, and towards the end of the month, some cooling off was already visible. Still: HERO

PITCHING

                IP   H  BB  ER   K   ERA
Jose Valverde 16.0  17   5   5  18  2.81  
Brandon Webb  42.0  42  12  14  28  3.00
Mike Koplove  10.0  11   2   5   2  4.50
Lance Cormier 18.0  15   7   9  12  4.50
Shawn Estes   36.2  44  12  21  17  5.15
Russ Ortiz    19.1  18   6  14   9  6.52
J. Vazquez    29.1  40   6  22  25  6.75
Brad Halsey   26.1  45   7  23  16  7.86
C. Vargas     19.1  24   7  17  17  7.91
[min 10 innings]
  • Rotation. Webb was the only starter to post an ERA under 5.00 this month; after a bright start, Halsey fell apart, losing all five appearances with a 7.86 ERA. Vazquez (6.75) wasn't much better; Ortiz went on the DL, while Vargas vultured up a couple of wins, despite an ERA for June almost at eight. Estes varied wildly from excellent to atrocious, but Webb averaged seven innings and only two walks per start, and deserved better than a 2-3 record. Overall, however: ZEROES

  • Bullpen. Similarly, only Valverde threw more than five innings in June and had an ERA below the league average (4.50). Medders showed some promise in his brief appearance, while Koplove and Cormier were tolerable. Beyond that, it got bad in a hurry, all the way down to Bruney's 12.00 ERA - in six innings, he allowed eleven hits and five walks, but was the only D'backs pitcher with a winning record in June. Go figure. ZEROES