Rounding the first turn: A quarter in review
With Saturday’s Preakness Stakes at foot, I can’t help but be reminded just past the quarter mark of the season how each turn gives us a glimpse of what may lie ahead in the ultimate race for the title.
The Diamondbacks are currently following the pack to the finish line with a 19-24 record. This puts them in fourth in the West, and in the bottom-third of the NL.
The new horses brought in this past offseason that gave D-backs fans hope for a strong showing in the chase for the West have yet to pan out. Shelby Miller has thrown to the tune of a 1-5 record and a 6.64 ERA. Comparatively, Zack Greinke has only been a slight step up from Miller. When you’re making about a million dollars a start, you hope for an ERA lower than 5.08 at the very least, albeit it through only 9 showings.
Face of the franchise Paul Goldschmidt has startlingly underperformed as well. He’s currently coursing at career-low standards with a .228 average and more strikeouts than hits. There are positives to draw from, however, such as getting on base at a .395 clip and being second in MLB with 40 walks. Few, I suspect, expect this trend to continue. If the hitters behind him in the lineup can start to put pressure on opposing pitchers, then we can bet on Goldy to speed up and close in on the pack.
Despite the struggles, there is reason for hope, perhaps none more notable than the resurgence of Jean Segura. He is ninth in all of baseball with a .355 batting average and is second in the NL in hits.
Comebacks, be it short or long-term, are always a big story in sports. The 2002 Oakland Athletics had a 20-26 record to start their campaign, but led a charge to win the American League West by four games with a record of 103-59 over the Anaheim Angels.
Let’s hope that the 2016 Diamondbacks can be like Silky Sullivan, a horse famous and loved for come-from-behind victories, and saddle up for an exciting charge.