Diamondbacks Rollercoaster Season Continues

In what has become all too typical this season, the Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen once again faltered. Diamondbacks fans have almost come to expect to see a strong starting pitching performance be destroyed by a relief pitcher.

Now though the bullpen does not seem content to just implode once per game. After another stellar performance by Ian Kennedy he was pulled in the seventh inning with a three-run lead but with two Braves on base. Juan Gutierrez came in and gave up a 3-run home run to blow the save and tie the game.

The Diamondbacks would regain the lead in the ninth inning on a timely hit by Justin Upton to give Arizona a 5-4 lead. In comes “closer” Chad Qualls who gives up two singles and intentional walk to load the bases with one out. Instead of a game ending double play Qualls gives up a bloop single allowing two runs to score giving the Braves the win.

It was one of those games that lead a sober man to drink and makes you want to have a giant bonfire to burn all your Diamondbacks gear and effigies of relief pitchers. Just when you think it cannot get any worse something like Friday’s game reminds you of just how bad things can go.

After the series opening game debacle you almost don’t want to watch the other two games. At this point of the season the Diamondbacks win-loss record tracks along the same path as the 2004 111-loss season and the 2009 92-loss season. Not exactly the season any of us signed up for.

The Diamondbacks followed up Friday’s game with an 11-1 victory behind the arm of Rodrigo Lopez to even the series. This is the most maddening part of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

One game they will look as though they are a team that could get hot and string together several victories becoming a factor in the National League West. The next game they look like they could barely beat a local high school team.

It’s easy to point to the bullpen’s abysmal ERA that is a full run worst than any other team in the National League. While the relief corps can take credit for a lot of the problems, the offense is likewise inconsistent scoring ten runs one night then collecting only three hits the next.

This inconsistency last year was blamed on manager Bob Melvin and hitting coach Rick Schu. This year the coaching staff appears to be safe but if this trend continues you have to wonder how long that will remain the case.

In the meantime the only advice for disheartened Diamondbacks fans is to keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times. This rollercoaster ride appears to be headed on a six month journey and we’ve only just begun.


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