Not much has gone right for the Diamondbacks this year. Injuries to Justin Upton, Chris Young, Stephen Drew and Daniel Hudson as well as less than expected production from some key players have obviously had an affect on the team’s performance. At 20-25, the D-Backs have been bad, but not bad enough to unequivocally say that they are not contenders. While the Dodgers look unreachable right now, hot starts followed by second half collapses in baseball are the norm.
If the D-Backs can just hit a stretch to get them over .500, they have the opportunity to build some confidence as they grind toward the mid-way point. With a few series still left against the Dodgers and Giants, technically the D-Backs control their own fate. The problem is, it’s got to start somewhere.
This weekend, the D-Backs will meet up with a team that’s probably fallen harder than themselves and they can fully take advantage of a Brewers club that is in transition. The Brewers had two major offseason setbacks and apparently haven’t been able to recover from them. First, their MVP was accused of–but ultimately not punished for–using performance enhancing drugs. Even though there was no penalty, if appears that Ryan Braun got off on a technicality and presumption of guilt surrounds him. Braun has been fine–hitting .323 with 12 HR and 31 RBI–but the overall offensive production of the team has been down.
Braun’s troubles aren’t the only reason for the decline in production, however. When Prince Fielder signed with Detroit this offseason, the Brewers lost one half of their dynamic duo that produced over 70 home runs and 120 RBI last season. The team is batting just 25th in the league with a .240 average.
The rotation hasn’t been much better. Other than Zack Greinke and his 2.70 ERA, every other starter has struggled. The team’s 4.53 ERA is 26th in the league. If the D-Backs want to get on track, this weekend is as good a chance as any.