Merciful End to Horrible Diamondbacks Road Trip

Sigh, is it over yet? Nine games against their National League Western Division rivals. Before this road trip began it was seen as a way for the Arizona Diamondbacks to climb back into the divisional race. If they could somehow win each of these series they would gain six games on the teams immediately in front of them.

Even if the San Diego Padres remained red hot, taking six games in the win column would make a race out of it and let the other teams in the division know that the Diamondbacks were not just the National League West doormats. But just when it looked as though this team would emerge from the coma they have been playing in for the better part of two seasons, the team folded like a T-Shirt at the Gap.

It started in Colorado with a close game where the Diamondbacks offense struggled then rallied late to lose 2-3. That game was followed by one against the most dominating pitcher in the National League where Ubaldo Jimenez continued his ownership of the Diamondbacks hitters. The series ended with what was then termed the worst Dan Haren start as a Diamondback and Arizona were swept.

Things did not start out much better in San Francisco when Matt Cain shut out the Diamondbacks 5-0 to begin the series. The Giants followed that up crushing Arizona 12-1 the following night. In the final game of the series it looked as though the Diamondbacks would finally win a game. Those hopes were destroyed when closer Chad Qualls gave up two runs in the ninth to tie a game they would lose in the tenth.

Limping into Los Angeles, Arizona would come up big with four runs in the first two innings of game one of the series. Little could anyone have guessed these would be the only runs the Diamondbacks would score this whole series. Another late collapse by the bullpen would give the Dodgers the win. Game two of the series was perhaps the most bizarre with the Dodgers winning 1-0 on a balk-off.

The final game would see Diamondbacks starter Edwin Jackson show why he was so coveted by the team last off-season. He would throw nine innings of scoreless baseball but would leave the game to a 0-0 tie. Arizona would battle another five innings before Cesar Valdez gave up a game winning 2-out single sealing another loss for Arizona, their tenth in a row.

The Diamondbacks now have an off-day tomorrow before beginning a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies including a rematch with Jimenez on Sunday. There will be many who wonder why the Diamondbacks need a day off as they seemed to have taken the last week and a half off.

Looking back over these past ten games it’s hard to pinpoint one area that is responsible for the lackluster play we’ve seen from this team. Arizona now finds themselves 12 games behind the division leading San Diego Padres and 14 games under .500.

The rest of June does not look much better for the Diamondbacks. Over the next three weeks they will face Colorado, Atlanta, St. Louis twice, Boston, the Yankees, and Tampa Bay. Given their recent play this could easily become a 35-game losing streak.

With the loss today to the Dodgers, Arizona is now three games worse than they were a year ago and a game worse than they were in 2004 when the team lost a franchise record 111 games. It’s hard to be optimistic after a 0-9 road trip.

Who knows, maybe getting home and having a day for self-examination will trigger something and the Diamondbacks will begin playing to their potential. At least that is what I keep telling Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.


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