There’s no denying the Diamondbacks have failed to live up to those expectations.
After some early-season struggles, the D-backs were able to finish a tough April schedule 12-14, and within striking distance of the top spot in the West thanks to some equally poor play from the rest of the division.
Paul Goldschmidt finished the first month with a .247 batting average and just nine extra-base hits, which is not what you want from your number three hitter. Zack Greinke finished with a 5.50 ERA in six starts, and Shelby Miller was even worse, finishing with an 8.49 ERA in five starts.
This team had to be doing something right if they were only 12-14 based on the production they were getting from their top hitter and top two starters.
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After the Diamondbacks’ April opponents ended the month ten games above the Mendoza line, May was going to be important for the D-backs to break out and set the tone for the rest of the season: May opponents were 32 games below .500.
The month of May was going to be how I would judge this year’s team, and so far it hasn’t been pretty. The starters have actually pitched a lot better, but home woes have continued, and the offense can’t hit in the clutch.
The Diamondbacks are now 18-23, good for last place in the N.L. West. Tey had lost eight consecutive games at home before last night, and were 5-16 at Chase Field.
After going 4-for-31 with runners in scoring position, against a Giants rotation that didn’t include Madison Bumgarner and did include Jake Peavy and Matt Cain, the D-backs managed just seven runs, and that is unacceptable. Only two of those runs came with a clutch hit, and they stranded eight runners per game.
This was unfortunate because the Diamondbacks starters are finally starting to come around. They posted a respectable 4.01 ERA in that series.
Competitive teams don’t lose 16 of their first 21 games at home, and competitive teams don’t render a five-game winning streak meaningless by losing their next five. Things have to change against the Yankees, who despite winning their past three series, are sitting in fifth place in the A.L. East, and hitting .235 as a team.
Getting ahead early and avoiding the three-headed monster at the backend of the Yankees bullpen will be key, but here is the bottom line: if the D-backs don’t at the very least win two of three with the top of the rotation starting, then Chip Hale needs to be fired.
I don’t care if the process is working; if it doesn’t result in wins, then the “process” doesn’t matter, and its time to make changes. The one excuse keeping the D-backs up was the play of the rest of the division, but with the Dodgers and Giants playing better, Arizona can’t afford to fall further behind after these three games, especially with a tough road trip against the Cardinals and Pirates coming next.