(NOTE: I took a screen capture video of the game and embedded it here, but free screen capture software is free and so the video is choppy, and I thought there would be sound thus the long holding for the National Anthem. Still here for your enjoyment, but just letting you know.)
Though they have been playing better of late, The 2014 Diamondbacks started off the season quite poorly, as anybody who reads this website or anybody who follows Major League Baseball knows. So I thought "How would they stack up against one of the more horrid teams in Baseball history?" My choices were the 1962 Mets and the 2003 Tigers, two of the worst, record wise, MLB teams ever. I went with the Tigers, as that season happened within my lifetime. Plus, that team had a lot of Diamondback threads including:
- Manager Alan Trammell
- Bench Coach Kirk Gibson
- Catcher A.J. Hinch
- Infielder Danny Klassen
- Late-season outfield call-up Cody Ross
- 2004 Diamondback Steve Sparks (He retired after '04, tough two teams to wrap your career with I tell you what)
- One time brief D'Back Wil Ledezma (2008)
I used, once again, Hardball II as my simulation device. I've done this on two occasions before. In this old old game, you can plug in things like batting average, doubles, ERA, etc. into a team/player creator and players would perform around those basic stats. So I took the 2014 Diamondbacks (as of Wednesday) and put in the stats of the most prevalent starters (So we get Cody Ross in the lineup, whee) and bench players, and did the same with the '03 Tigers.
I decided to start, for each team, the qualified starter with the lowest ERA. For the Tigers that was Nate Cornejo, he of a 4.67 ERA and 17 losses. For the D'Backs it was Josh Collmenter. I also decided to use the DH for this game, because the Tigers' lineup without the immortal Dimitri Young (DA MEATHOOK) was fairly unimpressive. (Not that it was a murderer's row without him.) For the D'Backs I used Mark Trumbo. I chose Wrigley Field as the venue, because that's a place that can handle gross incompetence.
Unlike the previous two installments, I did not control the Diamondbacks, just let the AI control them and record what happened. Again, you can watch the terrible video above, but here are the highlights of that game:
- Nate Cornejo, who would not appear in Major League Baseball after putting up a 8.42 ERA in 2004, was perfect through the first time through the order. It was broken up in the 4th on a Gerardo Parra double.
- The Tigers scored two runs in the 2nd almost exclusively via the ol' "Second Baseman AI breaks for the bag on contact instead of the ball ergo cheap singles" trick. In fact, it was second and third with nobody out with two runs already across.
- In a surprising twist of realism, the Diamondbacks wasted multiple leadoff doubles.
- Collmenter did not allow another run after the squiffy 2nd. He gave up a leadoff single in the 7th and was promptly lifted for Addison Reed, who shut the door.
- Likewise, Cornejo was pulled after giving up a leadoff hit in the 7th for Mike Maroth, who was infamous that season for being the rare 20 game loser. He did get to play on the 2006 Tigers team that made the World Series, so things did look up for him.
- The D'Backs scored all of their runs in the 8th off Maroth. Cody Ross had the green light on 3-0 for some reason, but was able to drive it between left and center for a double He was driven in by A.J. Pollock, and the very next pitch... #GoldschmidtHappened for the Diamondbacks to take a 4-2 lead.
- Bronson Arroyo, for some reason, came in in the 8th and recorded the 6-out save.
- Only one batter struck out all game. You'll never guess who it wa- It was Martin Prado.
- Yay, the Diamondbacks are slightly better?
I'm sure we all learned something here. Not sure what it was though. Maybe something about good dental health? Flossing is important, kids.