Arizona Diamondbacks Hang Hopes on Dan Haren and Brandon Webb

Kerry KlugContributor IApril 9, 2008

In 2001, the Diamondbacks upset the powerhouse New York Yankees in the World Series by riding on the strong shoulders of two stellar veteran pitchers, Curt Shilling and Randy Johnson (both 20-game winners.) 

This year, the Diamondbacks are hoping for similar results from two considerably younger aces at the top of their rotation, Dan Haren and Brandon Webb (both potential 20-game winners.)

However, unlike the Diamondbacks of '01, they aren't going at it seemingly alone. Webb and Haren have promising starters behind them in Micah Owings, Dale Davis,  and even Randy Johnson will pitch in when he's healthy.

With Schilling and Johnson pitching 5 out of the 7 games during the Fall Classic in '01, Webb and Haren could be called upon to do the same, but might not have to depending on how the other current D-backs starters pan out. 

This would all be for naught if Arizona didn't have such a strong offense to back up their great pitching. This year's starting line-up matches up favorably to that of 2001's.

What could end up hurting Arizona's chances is their inexperience. The average age of the 2001 Diamondback's starting line-up was 34, the average year of this year's team is only 27.

However, the players making up that age are highly touted youngsters like Chris Young, Justin Upton  and Conor Jackson. 

Arizona is praying their youth and energy will be what carries them to the championship just as their veterans did 7 years before. By banking on a previously successful formula, it seems as if their prayers will be answered.