For all intents and purposes the 2010 Arizona Diamondbacks have been a disappointment. There have been high points such as the no-hitter by Edwin Jackson on June 25, 2010 and the emergence of young pitching such as Ian Kennedy and Barry Enright but overall the team has failed to live up to expectations.
No one expected that the 2010 team would not only fail to be competitive for the National League Western Division but would actually be worse than the 2009 team that finished in last place 25 game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is enough blame to fill Chase Field. Whether it be injuries to key personnel at the wrong time or the failure of players to live up to expectations this season has been a disaster. But how bad has it really been?
The Diamondbacks are currently 50-78 with 34 games remaining in the season. In order to finish where the 2009 team ended Arizona would have to go 20-14 for the remainder of the season. That does not seem out of reach but given the opponents they face in the final month of the season that might be too much to ask.
It is inevitable that the Diamondbacks will finish with a losing record. To avoid that, they would have to go 31-3 to finish at .500. While I would love to see that kind of finish, it’s clearly unobtainable.
In a fit of boredom I began tracking the Diamondbacks historical game results. I plotted these results on a line graph to show how each season unfolded. What I found most interesting was not that the 2010 Diamondbacks are well below last season at this juncture but how closely this season compares to the 1998 inaugural season.
The two lines nearly match game for game wins and losses over the past month. The difference being that the 2010 Diamondbacks are one win better this season than they were the first year of existence.
I remember that first year and how excited we were to have baseball in Phoenix and how well the Diamondbacks were doing for an expansion team. The goal that year was to finish with less than 100 losses, a noble goal for a new franchise.
The Diamondbacks would finish that season with a record of 65-97 making them the sixth best expansion team in Major League Baseball history. That 63rd win occurred in the final game of the season and I remember celebrating the accomplishment.
Now 12 years later the team is on a near equal path. They are scrambling to try and find a way to win at least 63 games in the season to eliminate any chance of losing 100 times for only the second time in franchise history.
The difference of course is the level of talent on that 1998 squad versus the 2010 team. This year they have a lot more potential and the skills at nearly every position are better this year than they were in 1998. That’s probably what makes this season so frustrating. The Diamondbacks should be better than they are showing on the field.
For the next 34 games all we have left to cheer is hoping the team goes at least 15-19 so they can at least be better than they were during the inaugural season. It’s sad we are left hoping the team plays just under .500 ball for the rest of the season.