Preparing for the Storm

Going into the series with the Los Angeles Dodgers I had such high hopes. The Dodgers were playing some of the worst baseball I had seen all season. They came in having lost all seven games of the current road trip. They had been swept by the Philadelphia Phillies which you could somewhat explain but they had also been swept by the Washington Nationals where were the worst team in all of Major League Baseball. The first game of the series had the pitching match-up that most favored the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks handed the visiting team their eighth straight loss. If you were a Diamondbacks fan you had to be feeling pretty good about your chances.

Rarely does the team closest to you in the standings hand you a gift quite like the Dodgers had given the Diamondbacks. Why then are we sitting here two days later wondering how our guests have just ripped off all of our most valuable treasures? For the majority of the season the Arizona Diamondbacks have been relying upon their starting pitching to carry this ballclub. General Manager Josh Byrnes has built this team with pitching and defense being the cornerstones of the organization. It is somewhat frightening then to see what happened in this three game series.

The generally solid pitching staff was rocked for 17 runs in these games against the Dodgers. The inconsistent offense that the Diamondbacks have exhibited this entire season was again prevalent scoring 12 runs. On the surface 12 runs over 3 games doesn’t sound bad and with the pitching staff of Arizona that would probably be enough to sweep a series. Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks 9 of those 12 runs came in the opening game. That’s not going to win many games when that happens.

The Arizona Diamondbacks watched as the Los Angeles Dodgers left town riding a 2 game winning streak after having endured a 8 game losing stretch. They have re-invigorated their opponents to the point that realistically the Dodgers could go on a tear. Los Angeles next plays the San Diego Padres at home. Those same Padres that the Diamondbacks swept at home during the last home stand. Should the Dodgers be just as successful they would be riding a 5-game winning streak as the Diamondbacks come to town. That can’t be good if you are a Diamondbacks fan.

The thoughts of Arizona taking control of the National League Western Division and running away evaporated in the dry desert air. Instead we are left to prepare for what looks like a dark storm on the horizon. It will be a battle down the stretch. These two teams meet on the Dodgers home field one last time then part to battle the rest of the division. Looking at the schedule you would have to give the Dodgers a slight advantage. Of course if the last 3 games have taught us anything it is that an advantage is in the eye of the beholder and baseball games rarely work out like you drew them up on paper.

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