Well, just falling short of saying I’ve seen it all, I’ve seen ALMOST all of it.
Amazing, just truly amazing. No, not the fact that the Arizona Diamondbacks just got swept by the Seattle Mariners in Seattle, a series in which the Dbacks could easily have swept themselves. The fact is the Diamondbacks are finding every which way to lose baseball games and today was no exception.
The Mariners juiced the bases and in came Chad Qualls. This time, Qualls could not be to blame. Today’s goat was Tony Clark. On a more than easy ground ball that would have sent the game to the 10th inning, Mark Reynolds made a nice throw over to Clark at first, who then just plain dropped the ball, allowing the runner at third to score the winning run. Amazing.
There are so many things wrong with this team right now, I think it is just about time to blow this thing up—including those on and off the field within this organization. Hitters can’t hit and pitchers can’t pitch. Well relief pitchers at least. You can’t sit here and blame the starters. Sure, every starter has had their moments this season where you just want to strangle them. However, in this series, the starters all deserved better fates.
On Friday, Jon Garland left the game after seven innings, leading 3-0. The bullpen came in a blew the lead and the game, allowing Seattle to win 4-3 thanks in part to a pinch-hit home run by Ken Griffey Jr.
Yesterday, the Diamondbacks were tied 2-2 in a start by Billy Buckner, who didn’t pitch badly but could have done better. However the bullpen came in and couldn’t hold the slight deficit Buckner had when he left the game. The Dbacks lost 7-3.
Today, it was Doug Davis's turn. Again, another quality start. Davis gave up one run, seven hits in seven innings. Can’t ask much more from the guy. Yet, in the eighth and ninth innings, the bullpen couldn’t keep baserunners off the bases and they eventually scored an unearned run to win the game.
Tony Clark is about as useful on the field as a swarm of gnats. He can’t hit and now apparently he can’t field. He should have retired two years ago. There is no excuse for dropping an routine play, especially if the play loses the game. He’ll be the first to own up to costing the Dbacks this one, however, the next words out of his mouth should be that he is stepping aside as a player and allowing someone whose skills have clearly not diminished like his have to come in and take over full time. If Clark was a stand up guy, that’s what he would do.
However this team’s troubles, as we know, run much much deeper, and really at this point, finger pointing does absolutely no good. What will do some good right now is to start brining up all the young guys and get them prepared for the future. The current Dback players clearly have given up on this season. It is time for the front office to do the same.
First move is to replace general manager Josh Byrnes. Unfortunately, as little as I like part owner Ken Kendrick, he isn’t going anywhere. Byrnes has made some suspect moves and continues make headlines with the moves he isn’t making.
With pitcher Brandon Webb probably out for the season now, it is rumored he may have pitched his last inning for the Dbacks, as the Dbacks hold the 2010 option on his contract. Suspicion has it that the Dbacks will decline the option and allow him to become a free agent. Amazing. After all that man has done for this organization. Nothing has been said official on that and you won’t get anyone within the Dbacks organization to admit that, however, that writing is on the clubhouse walls. Pretty sad that not only is the possibility of losing Webb very real, the possibility of losing him for nothing is real.
So, it’s time to end the experiements on the following:
Jon Rauch—This may have been one of the worst pickups in Josh Byrnes’s tenure. Sure his ERA has finally crawled under 5.00, however he has not come in and done the job he was traded for to do. He is a waste of space, something I’ve been lamenting all season long. No one is listening though.
Chris Young—Although he has shown signs of climbing out of his hole over the past two weeks, he still clearly is not consistent enough to get his average above .200. If you are an everyday player, there is absolutely no excuse for hitting under .200. I hate to beat a man while he is down with a groin injury like Young is, but the truth is the truth. Young is quickly becoming a wasted talent. I still think the best thing for him is to go to Reno for awhile.
Juan Gutierrez—Speaking of waste of space… Gutierrez is almost a sure bet of not getting the job done when called upon now. He is like a bad movie that gets played over and over and no matter how many times you watch, you know the ending is always the same. Wherever they dug this guy up from, they need to stick him back there. We have a better shot of winning with George Lopez than Juan Gutierrez.
Tony Pena—When I saw him warming up in the bullpen today, I really considered just turning the game off. This was when he was WARMING UP. He wasn’t in the game yet. Just the sight of this guy makes me sick to my stomach these days. You want to talk about a guy who went from the penthouse to the outhouse overnight, it is this guy. His current ERA is 3.86 and that is mostly because of a good start to the season. Just over the past seven days his ERA is 18.00. That is higher than the number of hits the Dbacks had in this entire series—16.
Eric Brynes—No, no relation to Josh. I don’t think. Seriously though, how does this guy continue to see playing time? He is hitting .220 with an on-base percentage of .261.
There are others who deserve consideration as guys who I can no longer do with. Stephen Drew comes to mind; however, he has shown more consistent improvement, although his 0-4 today does not endear him to me. Miguel Montero’s defensive catching skills leave much to be desired. I desire not to see him attempt another throw to second base when trying to throw out a runner stealing second. It is sad that a major league catcher can’t reach second base on a throw from home plate on a more consistent basis.
As you can see, this team’s trouble run deep. Very deep. I could spend a week analyzing every aspect of this team’s weaknesses. Why do that though? The Dbacks themselves clearly aren’t doing it, so why should I? At this rate, the Dbacks will be lucky to avoid 100 losses and that is no exaggeration.
Is it football season yet?
AZScot is a Sports Jabber contributing author. You can view more of his work at Venom Strikes.
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