Diamondbacks Snap Scoreless Streak

No one expects a hitting barrage when facing Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants. He has won the previous two Cy Young Awards and is beginning to once again hit his stride as the Giants battle for a play-off spot.

Likewise, the Arizona Diamondbacks offense is not one that typically breeds fear to opposing pitchers especially when outfielder Justin Upton and third baseman Mark Reynolds are both out of the line up nursing late-season injuries.

One of the major complaints over the past two seasons has been the Diamondbacks lack of offensive consistency. There will be stretches where this team all seems to fire and they will score runs by the bucketful.

At other times this team will look like it has never seen a wooden bat or a pitched baseball in its life. Unfortunately these stretches seem to occur more readily than the former leaving everyone scratching their heads wondering how to kick-start the hitters.

The Diamondbacks found themselves in just such a situation going into today’s game. Over the course of the previous two days the Diamondbacks had played 20 innings. During those innings they had scored a total of three runs and all of those occurred during the first inning on Sunday.

Now with Lincecum on the mound the Diamondbacks struggled to get anything going. For the first six innings Arizona could not muster a single base runner either through a hit or a walk.

This meant Arizona had gone 25 innings without scoring a run before they finally broke through with three in the seventh inning of today’s game. That statistic is much more telling of why the Diamondbacks have a current four-game losing streak.

In that stretch Arizona had 34 strikeouts and only seven walks. Base runners were definitely at a premium.

This all points back to validate comments made by interim General Manager Jerry Dipoto shortly after he took the job from fired GM Josh Byrnes. This roster is constructed with too many players with similar skill sets.

Looking up and down the Diamondbacks roster they have the same kind of hitter. One who has the power to hit long home runs but also has a propensity to swing and miss at a lot of pitches.

One telling sign is injured third baseman Mark Reynolds who currently has 185 strikeouts to his credit. Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy has struck out 151 batters in 173 innings pitched.

The Diamondbacks most prolific hitter has produced more outs via strike out than their best pitcher has been able to record. That may not be bad but Arizona has four other players who are within 30 strikeouts of Kennedy’s total

There is not much that can be done over the next three weeks but this is clearly an area the Diamondbacks are going to have to address for this team to have any chance of being competitive in 2011 and beyond.


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