Justin Upton got the last laugh in Arizona last night. Image:

Upton Returns; D'backs Turn in their Worst Performance of 2013

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Monday night’s game against the Atlanta Braves was the most anticipated game of the season for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  As if you didn’t know, the game featured the return of Justin Upton to Chase Field, his home for six seasons.  He and anotehr ex-D’back Chris Johnson proceeded to thrash D’back pitching all over the park.  The 10-1 victory by the Braves allowed Atlanta to remain a game up on the Washington Nationals for first place in the National League East.   The D’backs are now two and a half games behind the first place San Francisco Giants in the National League West. 

For the last time, the Upton trade stinks.  I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now even though Arizona’s record is much better now than it was last year at this time (15-21 in 2012 vs. 21-18 in 2013).  My opinion would be the same if Upton went 0-5 instead of 4-5.  As much as I like Martin Prado, Upton should still be a D’back.   I am also a little annoyed at the reaction from the fans at Chase Field.  There were a healthy number of boos for which I don’t understand.  After all, he did play on two division winners in his time in the desert.   However, that wasn’t the worst part about last night.  The worst was that slopfest the D’backs displayed all game long.  For the second straight day, the D’backs scored in the first inning and did nothing after that.  Their one run was a solo home run by Paul Goldschmidt; the team banged out ten hits.  Inexcusable.  I’ll ask the reader, which play was worse?  Number one:  With one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, Cody Ross singled and then Prado hit one down the left field line.  In my mind (and out loud to my half asleep son), I say “He’s not going to send him, is he?”  Sure enough, third base coach Matt Williams sends Ross home where he is gunned down by 15 feet.  Number two:  In the bottom of the fifth inning, Didi Gregorius singled with two outs bringing up Goldschmidt.  Inexplicably, Gregorius attempted to steal second where he is caught and therefore ends any threat.   Wade Miley had his worst outing of the year, so bad that he came close to hitting B.J. Upton in the ear.  Even Will Harris, making his D’back debut, wasn’t spared the wrath, surrendering two runs on three hits in the final frame.

It was a big game, only one game but it pinpointed some alarming trends for the D’backs.  The team is miserable with runners in scoring position with a .213 batting average.  They also slug less than .400 at home.  Three out of the past four starts by Miley have not been good.  The bullpen still gives up untimely hits.  If these trends continue,  2013 will start looking a lot more like 2012.

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