After enduring a difficult loss that dropped them 11.5 games behind the LA Dodgers, D-Backs fans no doubt are feeling the sting of unfulfilled expectations over a quarter of the way through the season. The D-Backs were the favorite to win the NL West and thought to be a dark horse World Series contender, however the current version of the team doesn’t look up to the task.
Take heart D-Backs fans, because you’re not alone with your disappointment. Five other teams that were among the favorites to contend have also lanquished early on. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are currently in fourth and fifth place in the AL East. The two American League powerhouses are just 43-43 between them. Just like the D-Backs, the Yankees and Red Sox has been beset by injuries with the Yankees losing Michael Pineda and Mariano Rivera and the Red Sox missing significant time from Kevin Youkilis and Carl Crawford, among others.
After a hot start, the Detroit Tigers haven’t clicked yet and find themselves in third place behind the surprising Indians and White Sox in the AL Central. The Tigers have got solid contributions from Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera, but newly acquired Prince Fielder has been mediocre and the supporting cast hasn’t yet come close to fulfilling their 2011 production. Like the D-Backs, offense and bullpen have been the Tigers downfall so far.
The LA Angels have been perhaps the most disappointing team in baseball. After making a huge splash in acquiring Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson, the Angels find themselves in last place. Despite adding the best offensive player in the last decade in Pujols, the Angels find themselves 26th in runs scored. Despite heating up a little the last week, Pujols has been awful, hitting just .213 with 4 HR and 20 RBI. Additionally, Ervin Santana and Dan Haren both post ERA’s over 4.00 as for the most part the Angels star have failed to produce. The same could be same could be said of Ian Kennedy and Justin Upton of the Diamondbacks.
Finally, the Philidelphia Phillies are struggling despite few of the same reasons as the D-Backs. The Phillies look like an aging team and shockingly find themselves in last place in a competitive NL East. The resigning of 33 year old Jimmy Rollins looks like a bust and Roy Halladay appears human–posting just a 4-4 record with a 3.58 ERA. The Phillies disappointing 2011 post season seems to have carried over into the 2012 season.
While I can’t guarantee that the D-Backs will get it turned around, Diamondback fans can at least take solace that there are millions of other fans out there that share the same disappointment as you do. No doubt a couple of these talented teams will get it turned around, and hopefully the D-Backs are one of them.