Fish Sticks

After an absolutely brutal series in Washington, the Diamondbacks continue the road trip to Miami where they will take on the surprisingly scrappy Florida Marlins. The Marlins have the youngest team in baseball yet find themselves with a better record than the Diamondbacks and they are playing much better than Arizona as of late. I contribute this feat to the coaching of Joe Girardi. In his first season has made himself a serious candidate for manager of the year which makes it even more of a mystery why his name keeps being mentioned as being fired at the end of the year. Granted, we are talking about the Florida Marlins front office who dismantled the Montreal franchise before moving their sites to a more sunny location to see what kind of damage they could do to a second franchise.

Girardi has taken a team who lacks experience and has them playing with a sense of urgency that makes the players believe they have a chance to make a play-off run. Compare this to the Diamondbacks who looked to be in a perfect position to make a run at the National League West given their schedule and personnel. Although they have gotten younger with the insertion of Stephen Drew and Carlos Quentin into the line-up they also have veterans on the team to give them a sense of what the post season is like. Entering this series it should have been the Diamondbacks playing for an October series and Florida packing it in and evaluating players with the thoughts of where they should focus in the off-season.

The Diamondbacks sent youngster Enrique Gonzalez to the mound. Gonzalez has been inconsistent in his starts. He has given up runs early in the game burying his team into playing catch-up for the remainder of the game. Pitching Coach Mark Price has been working with Enrique to be more aggressive earlier in the game. Today showed that Gonzalez has taken the advice Price gave and took it to heart. Through the first five innings Enrique allowed just one hit and was staked to a 5-0 lead. It looked as though the Diamondbacks would finally salvage a decent game. Then in the sixth inning Enrique showed why he belonged on this pitching staff. He allowed 6 hits which accounted for 6 runs and left the game trailing 5-6. Brandon Medders came in for the seventh inning and provided the Marlins with a little insurance giving up 2 runs on 2 hits including a home run. The Diamondbacks again failed to score past the fifth inning and saw their play off hopes fade further. With 25 games remaining they are 9 games behind Los Angeles in the National League West and 7 games behind the Padres for the wild card. They pretty much would have to win out in order to make the post season. If Ken Kendrick can get Bud Selig to change the game to be 6 innings, the Diamondbacks just might be able to do it.

In all the mourning over the series in Washington, I forgot to mention the latest on the Carlos Quentin Hit By Pitch Meter. Quentin is in a funk right now and has seen his playing time decreased while he works on his swing. He was in the starting line-up for the first game of the double header and went 1-4 with his hit being a home run. That was not the big news though. In the second inning Quentin faced Billy Traber and was struck by a pitch bringing his major league total up to 6 which makes him tied with Johnny Estrada and Conor Jackson for third on the team and two behind the team leader Craig Counsell. Counsell better start leaning into some pitches if he wants to retain the title of Most Often Hit Diamondback.

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