I have two pet peeves. One is the music with loud bass that the kids are listening to nowadays, and the other is when the Diamondbacks trail a game in the top of the 1st inning. That seems to be the status quo this series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Arizona has managed to give up early runs, then gain the lead again only to end up losing the game. In Milwaukee, we saw glimpses of a miracle team, of sorts. Arizona was a fun team to watch last week but I’m beginning to get frustrated in this series.
I picked the Pirates to win the NL Central but I’m not sure why I did because this team really isn’t that good. Aside from Andrew McCutchen, who is a jerk for running down every ball in the outfield, this team is nothing to write home about. (Seriously though, McCutchen is a stud in center). That being said, they are fairly gritty and Arizona should probably be taking notes on that. I think there are two reasons why the D’backs are scuffling as of late. I realize that a two-game losing streak is not scuffling but I think there are some issues that should be touched upon. The first is the inconsistency in starting pitching. Steve Berthiaume said it best last night when he continually referred to Brandon McCarthy as looking “uncomfortable” on the mound. I agree. Something has not been clicking for him out there. I’m not sure if it is related to the frightening injury he sustained last year or maybe the change of scenery to the desert, but something is off. With Trevor Cahill struggling out of the gate, it’s difficult to be confident in a team that has a shaky middle of the rotation. I think it’s fair to call it shaky right now. Wade Miley will go this afternoon for Arizona to try and right the ship a little before we have to deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Although this issue was expected this season, strikeouts are starting to pile up. This team has 61 strikeouts through eight games. what I have been noticing is that there have been a number of at-bats where players seem overly anxious at the plate. I think Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado are both guilty of trying to do too much with a certain pitch, then end up striking out. Martin Prado did have a good at-bat last night in the 9th inning, however. I think as Diamondbacks fans, we are weary of the strikeout because recent years have not been good to us. I’m looking at you, Mark Reynolds. I hate that I’m getting so frustrated watching this team right now because it is only eight games into the year, which is a relief. As fans and reporters, we learn to dissect our favorite teams and with that comes a sense of unnecessary sensitivity. One bright spot of last night was that Heath Bell had a very effective appearance. It’s a shame there were only about 900 fans at Chase Field to see it…
I had a bad feeling about these last two games because right from the first pitch, my MLB.TV coverage was really choppy and unclear on FS Arizona. Normally that spells disaster. It’s weird to say that Arizona has to salvage a game against the Pirates, but that is what has to happen today. We need to at least grab one game of the series before we play the Dodgers because it won’t get any easier. Day games during the week are pretty much my favorite thing and it would make it even sweeter if Arizona can snag a W.
Follow @venomstrikes on the Twitter (said like Steve Berthiaume) for news and updates