Swimming with the Fishes

The Arizona Diamondbacks season schedule for 2009 has been very strange to say the least. It began with the world’s longest home stand that seemed to stretch through the entire month of April with the Diamondbacks having only 4 games away from Chase Field in the entire month. Now the team has embarked on a stretch where they have exactly one off day over 40 games. That amount of games in a short period of time can have a brutal effect on your team especially from a pitching perspective. Just one or two games where a starter doesn’t last long can have a ripple effect that will take a month to recover from.

The Diamondbacks did catch a slight break during this road trip when their final game with the Atlanta Braves was rained out. It gave the team an opportunity to get a day of rest before travelling to Miami for a four game series with the Marlins. Mother Nature seemed to show pity on the Diamondbacks and felt that perhaps they needed another day off. Problem was that the forecast looked questionable for the remainder of the series so the umpires tried to get the game in before it really began to rain. Mother Nature had other ideas though and by the fourth inning the field was so water logged that it was impossible to play on.

Because the game started and went through four innings, it meant that the Diamondbacks starting pitcher would not be available again. Had this been one of the rookies’ starts or one of the pitchers that had been struggling that might not have been too bad. The problem was that it was Dan Haren’s start meaning that the Diamondbacks lost the use of their ace until the weekend.

As if losing a Haren start was not bad enough, the make-up date for the rained out game was set for Wednesday May 20 meaning that the Diamondbacks will have to scramble to reset their pitching staff to have enough starters. As it sits right now Doug Davis and Bryan Augenstein will start the double header games on Wednesday. Max Scherzer will start the final game of the Florida series on Thursday. Dan Haren will start the second game of the Oakland Athletics series on Saturday. As for Friday, it is unclear what is going to happen there. One option is to bring up a starter from Triple-A Reno. Looking over the Pacific Coast League the most likely candidate would be Billy Buckner. The other alternative would be to have a start by committee with the relievers each taking a couple of innings. That is a risky proposition since the bullpen could be spent prior to Friday’s start if Davis, Augenstein, or Scherzer gets into trouble.

Yeah this is going to be interesting to watch. Maybe its situations like this that requires a manager with “organizational advocacy”. Then again maybe it is just another quirk in a season that has already seemed like it has been going on forever with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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