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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Is Game 3 Too Early To Declare The Dbacks Season Over?

It's a rhetorical question, and asked mostly in jest, but listening to the the third game of the opening series against the Rockies, it's becoming apparent the Dbacks have not solved any of their problems from last year. Just three games into the new season and the Dbacks are showing signs of the same bad habits that plagued them the second half of last season: They can't hit consistently, their defense isn't great, they can't play small ball, and their bullpen is getting killed.

In game 1, the Dbacks scored nine runs, but 6 of them were from the home run. They also managed three doubles, accounting for one more run. In game 2 the Dbacks managed to not put up a single run, and only had one extra base hit courtesy of Stephen Drew. Through 5 innings so far today, the Dbacks have just one run, again courtesy of a home run. In the last three innings alone the Dbacks have gotten their leadoff man aboard, only to leave him stranded at 1st base. In nine at bats they haven't been able to advance a runner a single base!

That's not even mentioning the pitching yet. Today Davis just left after 5 after giving up 4 runs. Webb was erratic (that's being kind) in game 1, and it came out today he has some shoulder stiffness and will miss his next start. If Webb misses any serious amount of time, you can forget this team even having a chance. In Game 2 Haren was fantastic, allowing just one run over 7 innings. Of course, he was relieved by Jon Rauch, who promptly gave up two earned runs in 2/3 of an inning. Now would be a good time to mention that a) Rauch was AWFUL after he gave over to the Dbacks last season, and b) he had the highest ERA (16 something) of any pitcher in Spring Training in 2009 (cannot verify this, but this stat courtesy of Schulte on the Dbacks radio broadcast).

Rauch didn't play in game 1, but that didn't stop Doug Slaten and Scott Schoenweis from each giving up an earned run in just 2/3 of an inning. Admittedly, Tony Pena and Chad Qualls both looked pretty good getting the last 7 outs of game 1. If there is any silver lining or hope to the bullpen, it's that these two provide a solid 8th and 9th inning for the Dbacks over the course of the season. 

Oh, and did i say something about small ball? The Dbacks have yet to even attempt a stolen base. For a team who told us all offseason they were going to get back to playing small ball and running the bases, that's a scary start to the season. 

Despite the title of the article, i am by no means giving up on the Dbacks already this season. But it is scary, and disturbing, that through two and a half games they have yet to show any progress at correcting the problems that plagued them last year. Not a good start to a season with high expectations...