A Diamondbacks fan is in Los Angeles, for the Dodgers series, and he's walking on Venice Beach when he sees a bottle in the sand. He picks it up, and to his surprise, there's a genie in it. He opens the bottle, and the genie pops out. "Thank you for freeing me from the bottle, where I've been trapped since the Rockies were last relevant. To show you my gratitude, I will grant you one wish, whatever you want."
So the fan thinks for a bit, then says, "I always wanted to go to Hawaii, but I'm scared of flying, and I don't like boats. So I'd like a bridge from here to Honolulu. And I want it made of milk chocolate, so that if I get hungry along the way, I can stop and break off a piece." The genie shakes his head, and says, "I'm afraid that's not possible, just from an engineering perspective. And besides, it'd melt before you got there. Isn't there anything else you want, something more reasonable and actually possible in the real world?" The fan thinks a bit more, and replies, "What about the D-backs sweeping the Dodgers this weekend?"
And the genie pauses and says, "Did you want two lanes or four?"
Highest NL team ERA in the first 18 games, since 1998
- BA = .251 (9th in NL)
- OBP = .300 (11th)
- SLG = .384 (10th)
- OPS = .684 (11th)
- OPS+ = 85 (12th)
- wRC+ = 82 (12th)
- Runs per game = 3.72 (13th)
- fWAR = 0.5 (14th)
- fWAR leaders = Paul Goldschmidt (0.7); Chris Owings (0.6), A.J. Pollock (0.4)
- fWAR trailers = Gerardo Parra (-0.4); Mark Trumbo (-0.3), Tuffy Gosewisch (-0.3)
- ERA = 6.02 (15th in NL)
- ERA+ = 66 (15th)
- K/9 = 7.65 (12th)
- BB/9 = 3.10 (9th)
- HR/9 = 1.24 (3rd)
- Opp. OPS = .823 (1st)
- xFIP = 4.11 (14th)
- fWAR = 0.3 (13th)
- fWAR leaders = Wade Miley (0.2), Addison Reed (0.1), J.J. Putz (0.1)
- fWAR trailers = Bronson Arroyo (-0.3), Brandon McCarthy (-0.2); Trevor Cahill (-0.1)
We're nine days further on than we were the last time we had an off-day. At that point, our record was 2-7, and in the nine days since, the team hasn't gotten any better, going 2-7. We are also currently riding a six-game losing streak, having been swept by both the Dodgers and Mets. The current run of eight consecutive defeats at Chase is the worst for the Diamondbacks since 2004, but team president Derrick Hall gave a vote of confidence to Kirk Gibson and Kevin Towers, saying, "I don't want to begin commenting on individuals and their status. That's not healthy. We are all in this together right now to, hopefully, figure this out and get back on track."
I get the feeling the fans are not quite as patient, though remain bemused by those who abandon their support for the team because of the awful start. There's certainly grounds for complaint, and criticism. But if winning is any kind of requisite for your fandom, there's a team in Los Angeles which I'm sure would love to have you. Mine survived the hell which was 2004, and even in the (I'm still thinking fairly unlikely) event that we have another 111-loss season, it'll survive 2014 as well. I could no more cheer for another team - and thus, against the Diamondbacks - than I could divorce Mrs. SnakePit. It's just unthinkable.
That said, my interest may wane, or be replaced by a morbid curiosity: At this point, I wouldn't have much interest in buying tickets to a game at Chase, any more than I would buy tickets to a bad movie at the cinema. Sure, you might still have fun - there's never really such a thing as a bad time at Chase Field - but the way the team is currently playing has enough of an impact as to make me lean towards alternative entertainment options. Writing about a bad team is a good deal more fun than watching one, that's for sure.