Milwaukee Wisconsin, Miller Park. Not exactly a hot bed of baseball. I have never heard anyone refer to Milwaukee as the baseball capital of anything. Usually Milwaukee is where players go to retire during the season. In fact, the Brewers are known more for the sausage races during the game than they are for their ball players. So when the Arizona Diamondbacks went to Milwaukee, the games had all the excitement of cleaning the pool.
After nearly three weeks of the 2004 season, it is clear that the Arizona Diamondbacks are in desperate need of help for their pitching staff. The departure of Curt Schilling is far more profound than the team had imagined. The thought was that Brandon Webb would be an adequate replacement for Schilling and that Elmer Dessens would rebound and give the Diamondbacks a lot of innings. The team planned to have Shane Reynolds be a capable fourth starter then finalize the rotation with knuckleballer Steve Sparks. Joe Garagiola Jr. had the statistics that stated Sparks would shine in the National League. Instead, he has been roughed up in nearly every game he has pitched in. This coupled with Reynolds beginning the year on the disabled list and the implosion of the bullpen has everyone scratching their heads wondering what to do next. The thought was that Matt Mantei would begin the season as the closer then the Diamondbacks would trade him eliminating $7 million in payroll. Instead, Mantei has struggled on the mound reducing his trade value to the point where the team cannot move him. Outside of Randy Johnson and Brandon Webb, there is not a lot to be encouraged at from the pitching staff of 2004. With a slow start, look to see the Diamondbacks consider some moves even before the all-star break to shore up their pitching corps.