Diamondbacks Bullpen Woes Continue

Baseball is a funny sport. It is 162 games of grinding through the day-to-day routines hoping to piece together some positive results. When a team is playing well fans are reminded not to read too much into it as baseball has a way of evening out.

Likewise when a team is struggling fans are told not to get too upset as baseball has a way of evening things out. When a team is battling a losing streak we hear clichés such as, “all we need is a change of venue” or “the season is young, a couple of games is not going to make or break us”.

Mounting losses whether they occur in April or in September have equal value in the standings. It has been said that every team will win 60 games and lose 60 games during the season. It is what you do with the other 42 games that will determine the fate of your ballclub.

The problem for most baseball fans is that we can’t figure out whether the games our team is losing is part of the 60 games we were going to lose or part of the 42 games that will determine the fate of the season.

Opening Day was only two weeks ago and yet we are already seeing some of the same tendencies with the Arizona Diamondbacks that we saw last season. After a relatively error free home stand to begin the season, the Diamondbacks defense is once again committing mental errors that have cost them games.

The bullpen which struggled in 2009 appeared to be a spot the Diamondbacks invested in heavily yet over the first two weeks the results seem to be the same. Over the past seven games the bullpen has struggled and given up the winning run in six of those contests.

The offense started out looking good but lately the bats have cooled down leaving the starting pitchers the unenviable task of having to throw a near perfect game in order for the team to win. That is not a good situation especially given the uncertain status of Brandon Webb who has yet to return to throwing off a mound.

The opening game against the St. Louis Cardinals was yet another example of the struggles the Diamondbacks are going through. Starting pitcher Rodrigo Lopez threw seven strong innings allowing two runs on seven hits.

Leaving in a tie game the bullpen gave up two runs in two innings and handed the St. Louis Cardinals a 4-2 win. The Diamondbacks committed two errors in the eighth inning allowing the Cardinals to capture the lead.

The Diamondbacks need to somehow find a way to curb this trend if they have any hopes of being competitive this year. Already they have seized last place in the NL West, a spot they spent considerable time in last season.



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