Baseball is a game of trends as much as it is a game of numbers. During the first few games of the season, the script was that the Diamondbacks would allow their opponent to score first and wait until the middle innings to unleash a barrage of runs en route to a comeback win. The team later went through a period of 5 games hitting a home run in the first inning. This home stand has seen seen the pitching staff strike out 11+ batters in 6 straight games, the first team in National League history to do so. These are all positive trends, but Fernando Rodney has developed a pretty nasty habit of his own. Robin Hood has shown an inability to enter a game, whether ahead or behind, and limit the opposing offense to no runs. He has appeared in 11 games allowing runs in 5 of those appearances. Worse still, he has allowed multiple runs in 4 of those appearances. The Arizona Diamondbacks lost their first series at home last night, and look to avoid being swept for the first time today. Patrick Corbin (2-3, 2.79 ERA) takes on German Marquez (0-1, 18.00 ERA) in today’s 1:10 PM start.
Rockies 7, Diamondbacks 6
[Dbacks.com] Homers not enough, as Rodney blows save -
The bullpen Fernando Rodney failed to cap off yet another strong start by Zack Greinke. Greinke went 6 innings striking out 9, walked 2, and gave up 3 solo home runs. The D’backs had 3 home runs of their own and looked well onto their way to a victory after solid relief performances from Jorge De La Rosa and Archie Bradley. That was until someone started sharpening arrow tips in the bullpen. There is not much to critique other than yet another meltdown by our closer. Tomas failed to leg an error by Carlos Gonzalez into an inside the park home run in the 8th? The offense failed to score an insurance run that inning having a runner on 3rd with no outs? Something tells me Fernando would have found a way to ruin that no matter what.
[Arizona Sports] Sedona Red Recap: Meltdown in ninth inning costs Diamondbacks first place - What frustrates me even more is that it appears we will continue to see this in the 9th inning.
"He has a proven track record. He is battle-tested," manager Torey Lovullo said. "We are going to do all we can to nurse him back to what he was prior to these last two outings. We're going to be patient."
The Mike Hazen led front office and clubhouse captained by Torey Lovullo appear to be in lock step when it comes the decision making. They do not succumb to knee jerk reactions such as I do, and they seem to see the game through a different lens than the previous regime. Because of this, I am not confident that Rodney will persist in this role for much longer. Baseball is also a meritocracy, and Rodney has done nothing to earn the title of closer in Arizona. In 39.2 innings since the All Star Break last season, Fernando has allowed 32 earned runs. The hot topic of late here on the Pit is what should the team do with Archie Bradley. There are some here that do not want to see Archie in the closer role because it is then limiting what we have seen from him thus far. In my opinion, the thought of a 3 out one inning man in the bullpen is silly. Bradley is more than capable of going 2+ innings for a save while limiting the opposing offense to 1 run or less. Our starters are going deeper in games this season, and outside of Rodney there are other options in the bullpen to bridge the gap should a starter be unable to go deeper into the game.
[ESPN] Reynolds leads Rockies' comeback over Diamondbacks - Again, the entire game was not doom and gloom. I really do not have anything bad to say about the rest of the team’s performance last night. I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. asteroid in person before she makes her trek across the Atlantic. As stated above, the Diamondbacks became only the 2nd team in history to strikeout 11 batters or more in six consecutive games since the 2014 Indians did it in 8 straight games. Paul Goldschmidt has successfully stolen 25 bases in a row without being caught which is the longest streak by a first baseman since the data was recorded in 1974.
[Arizona Sports] Jake Lamb sends fifth home run of season 481 feet - There was also this gem which is currently the longest home run in the majors this season. Something something Jake Lamb cannot hit left handed pitching. Mark Reynolds may be our slugging third baseman of seasons past, but Jake Lamb sent this ball on a one way United Airlines flight to Souvenir City. It was the 6th longest home run in Chase Field history.
[Fox Sports] Shelby Miller to undergo Tommy John surgery - My heart truly breaks for this young man. I wanted nothing more than to witness a redemption season for him this year, so that his time was not completely despised in Arizona. He was well on his way to returning to All Star form. The team and player now face a long and difficult road ahead in the months to come.
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks RHP Jake Barrett not guaranteed a spot - Fernando Rodney would beg to differ. Allow me to read between the lines here. I think what he is really trying to say is that Jake Barrett would be wise not to be complacent when he is back up to 100%. Torey Lovullo knows how to get the most out of his staff. If Jake is able to harness his potential once he returns, it will be a welcomed shot in the arm for the bullpen. Pun intended.
[ESPN] Starting pitchers are flooding the market, so who could be traded? - Do not be surprised if a fast start by the team and starting rotation means that the Diamondbacks are not immune to trading an arm this season. The starting rotation is clearly outperforming expectations early in the year, and rival scouts are sure to be paying attention. Buster Olney opines that the team may still look to move Greinke despite the hot start because his massive contract still handcuffs the team. Does it really though? Maybe Kendrick should open up that little pocket book of his and spend on a competitive bullpen.
[Fox Sports] Washington Nationals lose Adam Eaton for season to torn ACL - Terrible news for Spanky and the team in the Capital City. The Washington Nationals traded 3 pitching prospects to the Chicago White Sox for Adam Eaton this offseason. You think we feel terrible for losing Shelby Miller? Injuries happen to all teams even the contenders. Nobody felt sorry for the Diamondbacks and all their injury woes last year. The NL West likely let out a collective sigh of relief when the Madison Bumgarner news broke. Successful teams find a way to win despite key injuries. We wish Spanky the best during his recovery, and hope the loss is demoralizing to the Nationals when we face them this week.
[Bleacher Report] MLB Report Card Grades for All 30 Teams at the End of April - I am pretty sure last night asteroid said to me, “Baseball is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.” Looking at this month in retrospect we really should be elated with the start of this season. We have witnessed some feats never seen in the desert before, or MLB for that matter. For a sport that is more than 5 times as old as I am, that is something to hang your hat on. However, the 162 game season is a grind not to be taken lightly. The only thing that matters is what this year’s team is able to accomplish when the marathon comes to its end.