As a last place team it came has little surprise that the Arizona Diamondbacks would have just one representative on the National League roster for the All-Star game in Anaheim California. After all, the team had underachieved in just about every category and statistic.
While Chris Young has had a decent first half which was significantly better than the season, there could be an argument made that the Diamondbacks had a representative at the mid-summer classic only because Major League Baseball requires each team to be represented.
This is not meant to disparage Young; I loved seeing him in the game. Still it seemed rather fitting that Young would fly out to the first baseman with the tying run on third base failing to put together a constructive at-bat.
The Diamondbacks players not selected to the All-Star game found themselves with four days that they could get away from the game and regroup after a disastrous first half. When interviewed, the players expressed their desire to heal from the bumps and bruises and mentally take a break. In each instance the player would go on to say how the break would be beneficial and allow the team to re-focus to begin the second half.
From a fan’s perspective I had big hopes that the changes to General Manager, Manager, and the team’s commitment to making changes would result in a club who would take positive steps to regain their confidence.
What better place to showcase these new positive changes than Petco Park against the National League West leading San Diego Padres? Perhaps this would be a repeat of the first series of the year when the Diamondbacks took two of three from the Padres and showed they would be competitive.
Arizona had their ace on the mound. The Padres countered with former Diamondback Jon Garland who was traded last season to the Los Angeles Dodgers before signing a free-agent contract with the Padres during the winter. Everything was aligning for the Diamondbacks to start the second half making a statement.
The Diamondbacks definitely made a statement. Haren gave up eight hits in five innings allowing six runs including two home runs. The bullpen was once again pourous giving up another six runs in the final two innings.
Arizona looked as though they had no energy. Obviously the four days away from the game were not quite enough as most of the players appeared to take a fifth day off, at least mentally.
The Padres took advantage of every opportunity given to them making the Diamondbacks pay for their lack of hustle. So while all the talk centered around the changes the Diamondbacks have recently made, tonight was the same old routine the fans have seen for the better part of nearly three years.