Game Unravels in Los Angeles

Whenever anyone discusses the deal that sent Dan Haren to the Los Angeles Angels they rave about the young prospects the Diamondbacks received in the deal. Everyone is high on pitchers Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs.

They talk about the high ceiling both of these players have and how in 2-3 years the Diamondbacks will be reaping the rewards of this trade. Rarely does anyone talk about Joe Saunders, the major league pitcher included in the deal.

Saunders has had an up-and-down time since joining the Diamondbacks in July. He has looked dominating at times and then looked rather average at other times. Looking beyond the numbers, Saunders has been the recipient of some very bad defense and run support for many of his starts.

Tonight was a prime example of the kind of season Saunders has had with the Diamondbacks. Saunders made his final start of the season. He threw seven innings against the Dodgers.

In those seven innings he allowed 10 hits but those hits resulted in only two earned runs. His control was very good not walking a single batter and striking out five. Saunders again saw poor defense behind him with Chris Young getting his seventh error of the season.

The Diamondbacks offense struggled to do anything against Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley. It was not until the eighth inning that Arizona did anything. They scored two runs in the top of the eighth to close to within a run but failed to do anything more losing 3-2.

Saunders has to be frustrated to pitch so well recording another quality start only to see his team unable to pick him up. After the game he said all the right things that he pitched well enough to win but made a few mistakes.

As almost the elder statesmen on this young pitching staff Saunders has been quietly leading the pitchers working with the three youngsters Barry Enright, Daniel Hudson, and Ian Kennedy offering help and guidance.

His leadership and work ethic were under-appreciated this season but hopefully next year he will be rewarded with a more consistent offense and better defense allowing him to earn a few more wins.

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