The Arizona Diamondbacks just completed a 4 game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates winning 3 of the 4 games. Normally beating the Pirates 3 games is not an accomplishment that would warrant celebration but the way the 2009 season is going for the Diamondbacks I am surprised Phoenix has not blocked off the streets and called for a victory parade. To say this season has been challenging would be an understatement of the same magnitude as saying Jon Rauch is kind of tall (he’s 6 foot 11 inches for those who don’t have a program).
And while it would be great for us to bask in the accomplishment of winning the series yesterday; the reality is that tonight is the beginning of another series and this one promises to be much more difficult than the one just completed. Tonight the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies come to town to meet the Diamondbacks. These are the same Phillies who took two of three from the St. Louis Cardinals; the team that won a 3-game series against the Diamondbacks just over a week ago.
Looking at this three game series I am not sure how confident I am at the Diamondbacks chances. Tonight’s game features Jon Garland who could very well be making his final start for the Diamondbacks with the trade deadline looming this Friday. He will be facing Jamie Moyer who I believe is the only active pitcher in Major League Baseball to have faced Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Barry Bonds. I’m not sure but tonight might just be AARP Night at the ballpark where anyone over the age of Jamie Moyer gets a free osteoporosis exam.
Tomorrow’s game is the most intriguing. Dan Haren is back on the mound after what was perhaps his worst game of the season last outing. To put it into perspective, Dan Haren’s worst outing is still better than Yusmeiro Petit’s best game. Haren will face Cole Hamels who at least this season has shown that he is human and not some sort of evil cyborg from the future.
The final game of the series will feature the aforementioned Yusmeiro “I have no idea why I am still in the rotation” Petit with his 0-5 record and 7.68 ERA against the Phillies J.A. Happ who is 7-1 with a 2.97 ERA. The only positive from this match-up is that Happ has been mentioned in numerous trade rumors so the Diamondbacks might get lucky and he will be traded before first pitch on Wednesday.
I think I am uncharacteristically pessimistic on this series. Usually these are where I would say, “That’s why they don’t play these games on paper” or perhaps use the cliché, “any given team can win on any given night.” I have to admit, even as a loyal Diamondbacks fan my confidence is starting to get a little shaky.
So for the next 3 nights I’ll go to the ball park and hope that Philadelphia brought a little bit of that brotherly love and let the Diamondbacks squeeze out a couple of victories and take a couple of small steps in their quest to return to .500.