May 11, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock against the Washington Nationals at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
At work Monday morning, I told a couple of friends that the sweep at the hands of the Phillies was the first time I was annoyed with the Arizona Diamondbacks this season. Getting swept by a last place team, the final game on Sunday a 6-0 shutout, can do that to a guy. Still, not the end of the world, knowing that the D’backs won’t be making the playoffs this year. A little more than 48 hours later, the Snakes proved once again that 2015 is shaping up to be a fun season.
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How can a team that is probably going to finish under .500 have a fun year? For one thing, the unpopularity of Kevin Towers and Kirk Gibson was a drain on the masses. The new faces in management positions, while all new at their jobs, provided a jolt to the organization and to its fans. The free agent signings of Yasmany Tomas and Yuan Lopez and the discard of high-priced Trevor Cahill and Cody Ross showed the D’backs wanted to contend sooner rather later. Transactions such as these raised hopes that 2014’s 98-loss season would become a distant memory in short order. With a bevy of young players on the Major League roster and an upper farm system with power arms, Arizona was an intriguing team entering 2015.
The previous two nights’ victories against the Marlins is a perfect illustration as to why (speaking for myself, anyway) I am giddy about this year. Despite Paul Goldschmidt going a combined 1 for 9, the D’backs got a pair of wins on the strength of other significant contributions. On Monday, Rubby De La Rosa continued his maturation as a starting pitcher with nine innings of two-run ball. David Peralta, seemingly recovered from a slow start, knocked in the game-winning run with a double in the 13th inning. Enrique Burgos notched his first Major League save and then went out an recorded his second one on Tuesday. Is he the closer of the present and future as my colleague Guillermo Salcido speculated earlier today? A.J. Pollock won last night’s game with a pinch-hit, two-run home run. At 17-21, maybe there isn’t a rallying cry for the World Series but there is a definite hope that the corner may be turned real soon.
Enjoy the season. Try not to get too down if there is a long losing streak in July. Just think, Jake Lamb will be back in a couple of weeks and Patrick Corbin could return by August. There is a lot to like about this current Diamondbacks’ team even if the record won’t reflect it.