There are numerous things that have perplexed us about the 2012 Arizona Diamondbacks. The dramatic drop off in production of Justin Upton ranks right up there along with the inconsistent nature of the starting rotation, thought to be a team strength. The constant juggling of the lineup by skipper Kirk Gibson has left many of us scratching our heads. However, perhaps the most frustrating aspect of this season just might well be the D-Backs’ play against their National League West rivals.
Their record against the Giants and Dodgers, the two teams ahead of them in the division is a combined 17-11, 10-6 vs Los Angeles and 7-5 against San Francisco. Meanwhile, the head -to-head matchups against the two teams below them, Colorado and San Diego is 10-13, 6-5 against the Rockies and a woeful 4-8 vs the Padres. If that 10-13 record was flipped to 13-10, we are talking about a three team race out West, with six games left to play with SF and two games to go with LA. Arizona’s final six games are at home, three apiece against the Rockies and the Cubs. Chicago has been brutal with a 51-85 record, 34 games under .500. Yet the D-Backs could not take advantage of one of the worst teams in baseball, going only 3-3 against them thus far. Quite simply, the D-Backs should have a much better record vs the lower teams in the National League. Combine that with the fact that the D-Backs were 9-6 in interleague play including a three game sweep of playoff contender Oakland and you have a team that is a complete riddle.
There is also this maddening stat typical of the 2012 campaign. Despite the team being two games under .500 with a 68-70 record, Arizona has outscored their opponents by 29 runs. That is five runs better than the Dodgers and a higher differential than postseason hopefuls Baltimore and Pittsburgh. With these kind of numbers, it is no wonder that the heat is not the only thing driving people crazy in the desert.
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