Sunday, April 24, 2005

Just Enough 

As has been the case several times already this young season, the Diamondbacks scored just enough runs to win on Friday and Saturday night. Their 5-3 and 2-1 victories over the Padres weren't necessarily pretty, offensively, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and those fans lucky enough to be in the ballpark on Friday and Saturday nights (TV coverage was non-existent) were able to behold 3 three beautiful pitching performances. Brad Halsey won Friday night, and Brandon Webb and Jake Peavy had, as expected, a great pitchers' duel on Saturday night. Peavy, whose 1 run in 7 IP helped drive down his ERA ever so slightly to 1.30 (that number is just sick), was matched by Webb's 1 run in 8 IP. Mike Koplove bounced back from his last poor outing to deliver an 8-pitch 9th inning and get the win. The performance ought to quiet for now the near-panic that accompanied Koplove's last few outings -- those who live by the small sample size, die by the small sample size.

The best part of the season so far, for me at least, has been the solid rotation performance. Aside from Opening Day, I'm not sure the rotation has had a game bad enough to make a loss a fait accompli. And while I'd been worried about the rotation not going deep enough into the game to give the bullpen a rest, that's been less of a concern over the past week or so. Perhaps it was because the rotation had a bad week initially, but perhaps it was also a deliberate plan by Melvin to not run up pitch counts straight out of Spring Training.

In any case, the pleasantly surprising strength of the rotation has more than canceled out the slightly disappointing weakness of the offense to date. And the victories ensure a series win over the Padres (always important, even in April) and a winning record heading into the next road trip.

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