clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Diamondbacks 1, Giants 2: Replay Review Shows Diamondbacks Lose

New, comments

The Diamondbacks lost another close one Sunday, as the tying run scored in the ninth but was overturned on review (although the umpire initially signaled differently after the review.) Rubby De La Rosa was great again, the offense was terrible again. If you are keeping track, that makes seven straight home losses for the Diamondbacks.

Goldy hit a sac fly, but that was far from enough
Goldy hit a sac fly, but that was far from enough
Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 season so far has been nothing that anyone expected. This next paragraph consists of sentences which are all true, but none of which could have been predicted in March.

Rubby De La Rosa is easily the best starting pitcher on the Diamondbacks. His stuff just seems to get better every time out. He leads the team in ERA, has the lowest home run rate, and has posted the three highest Game Scores, including three of the four over 70. The starting outfield consisted of Yasmany Tomas, Chris Herrmann in center, and Brandon Drury in left. Herrmann and Drury were the brightest spots offensively in the game, as they have been in many other games this season.

The Diamondbacks lost despite out-hitting the Giants, losing in what must be one of the most painful ways, as a tying run was taken off the board in the bottom of the ninth. The Diamondbacks lost despite allowing one hit through 8 innings. The Diamondbacks lost despite great individual performances from De La Rosa and Brandon Drury.

I could take this in a depressing direction, but instead I'll channel certain PR oriented people within the front office, and give you the high points.

So, the Diamondbacks have the best fourth starter in the league! Rubby has always had ace potential, and he is finally starting to realize it. He kept some very good hitters, like Hunter Pence, completely off balance as he struck out 7 and only allowed 1 hit over 6.2 innings. The problems he had last year with left handed hitters appear to be entirely gone now, as he's actually performed better against them this year than right handed hitters.

Also, you have to love the offense the Diamondbacks are getting from the young players. Brandon Drury picked up 4 hits to raise his average to .320! Chris Herrmann got another hit and played a good center field! Jake Lamb is really coming along! How about Jean Segura, who had a rough game, but still leads the team in hitting? That was a great offseason move!

And let's not overlook the sheer value! Coming to a Diamondbacks game (in the stadium we've gone out in public and said needs major repairs or it will be condemned, but blame Maricopa county!) is still the best value, and we have 27 different hot dog options! There's so much to be optimistic about! This is a young team that is coming along and will be set up nicely next year when A.J. Pollock comes back.

[Ok, now I'll take it in the depressing direction. Feel free to duck out now. I'll even put the fangraph here!

Great!: Brandon Drury, 35.3%
Very good: Rubby De La Rosa, 30.5% (combined pitching and hitting)
Incomprehensibly Terrible: Rest of Diamondbacks Offense, -108.5%
Chief offenders: Rickie Weeks, Jr., -46.2%; Jean Segura, -26.9%; Yasmany Tomas, -13.1%

# Commenter # Comments
1 AzDbackfanInDc 138
2 Jackwriter 71
3 Rockkstarr12 65
4 Xerostomia 46
5 SongBird 42
6 onedotfive 40
7 hotclaws 23
8 nolanriley13 22
9 preston.salisbury 22
10 GuruB 21
11 Chelsea75 16
12 coldblueAZ 14
13 Makakilo 11
14 noblevillain 9
15 MrMrrbi 8
16 DbacKid 7
17 AzRattler 6
18 Xipooo 6
19 cheese1213 3
20 James Attwood 3
21 dbacks_in_vegas 2
22 Zavada's Moustache 2
23 dbacks13 1
24 Jim McLennan 1
25 Clefo 1
26 yakiniku 1
27 JoelPre 1
28 Re Tired 1

Comment of the thread goes to Xipooo, for his catch of a foul ball.

That guy with the nachos who caught the foul ball off of Crawford

Was me.

I’m a Norwegian poodle farmer who frequently digs for buried treasure in artificial landscapes.

Now I shall return to depressed rant:

Yes, I've a feeling we'll hear similar sound bites to the above out of the front office this week, at some point, as the losing streak rolls onwards. Playing for next year could be only two or three days away. Yet the front office continues to tout their value and the good young players without realizing that what the fans really want is winning baseball, preferably with good young players that are allowed to develop. At this point, where nothing is working, it might be good to make a move that increases excitement, even if it isn't necessarily the right move from a baseball perspective. Calling up Michael Bourn isn't that move. Calling up Peter O'Brien wouldn't have solved the center field problem (which wasn't solved by throwing Herrmann out there either, anyway) but O'Brien would at least have been embraced by the fans and possibly provided a big bomb. Players like Bourn and Weeks are, or were, fine baseball players, but the fans want to see O'Brien, and O'Brien can likely pinch hit just as well as either player.

The truth of the matter is that Rubby De La Rosa deserved far better. A few more starts like this, and he will have pitched himself into the conversation for best five pitchers in the National League, let alone on the Diamondbacks. That's incredible for a guy that most of us thought shouldn't have been awarded a rotation spot. I love watching him come around and pitch like he's shown he is capable of pitching. I like watching guys like Brandon Drury be successful. But the fact remains that the Diamondbacks had multiple runners on base in four innings and failed to score every time. The only run the Diamondbacks scored came in the fourth inning when Jake Lamb doubled, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Goldy's sacrifice fly. Third inning: two on, one out. Segura swings at the first pitch, grounds into a double play. Fifth inning: leadoff single. Tomas swings at first pitch, grounds into double play. Two singles follow, Segura swings at second pitch, grounds out. Sixth inning: bases loaded, Tomas swings at first pitch and pops out. Ninth inning: Weeks can't beat out a slow grounder that turned into a game ending double play.

Good teams take advantage of these chances. The Diamondbacks are not a good team. Good teams work counts, apply pressure on opposing pitchers, and use that pressure to generate runs. The Diamondbacks do not do this. The Diamondbacks send their players up with instructions to "be aggressive" and the results are consistently bad. Sure, when a pitcher is on the ropes, swinging early might help to increase pressure. But against a pitcher who is pitching well, like those the Diamondbacks have faced over the past five games, swinging early in at-bats helps the pitcher.

The Diamondbacks have all the pieces to be a good team. They have the talent. They lost partially because a ground ball pitcher got three ground balls, all of which found holes. (Could Nick Ahmed have gotten to the first ground ball? Maybe. He certainly would have had a better chance than Owings, who went 0-for-4 in an attempt to get more offense by benching the struggling Ahmed.) Ziegler did his job, but was unlucky. That happens. The bigger problem is that the Diamondbacks, despite having the pieces, are still not a good team, not in any sense. They have the talent to win, and even in this losing streak have regularly put themselves in good positions to do so. But they simply cannot come up with what is needed, when it is needed. And that is what good teams do.

The Diamondbacks are not a good team, and no amount of papering-over done by the PR department can hide it any more. The proof is in the pudding, and the pudding shows that the Diamondbacks are in last place, off to a worse start than 2015. The front office wanted us to "join the evolution." But evolution relies on survival of the fittest, and at this rate, the Diamondbacks will be extinct before the All Star break, if not before June. We need to hear a true commitment to success, not more platitudes, not more apologies, and certainly not any excuses.