Thursday, May 12, 2005

It's Better To Be Lucky Than Good 

That's got to be the Diamondbacks' offensive motto, right? Because they weren't all that good this homestand. In their last five games, they've scored just 13 runs, and somehow managed to win two of those games. At BOB. An "extreme" hitters' park.

But the D-Backs won again last night, beating the Nationals 3-2 for the second game in a row to take the Series.

Javier Vazquez pitched another stellar outing for the Diamondbacks -- 7 innings pitched, 6 hits, 2 runs, no walks, and 7 strikeouts. For position players, the hero is Craig Counsell, who drove in the tying run in the bottom of the 7th (Thom Brennaman falling all over himself to praise the guy) and made a sweet defensive play in the 8th inning.

Now I suppose the difference between the 2004 Diamondbacks and the 2005 Diamondbacks is it seems like last year they would score just 1 run, and this year they at least are capable of putting 2 or 3 runs together in a game. But make no mistake, the offense has gone cold. Over the past seven days, their OPS is .677 (25th in MLB), their BA is .227 (27th), and their runs/game of 3.3 trails only the Astros, Angels, and A's. ("The A Team? More like the 'No Way!' Team," would be what Gene Shalit would say were he to be writing this blog. Why he would be writing this blog mystifies me, but this is a topsy-turvy world, no?)

Past performance -- especially just seven days' worth -- is absolutely no predictor of future success, and so I have no idea if this cold streak will continue. I have mixed hope as to whether or not it continues, because for all the talk of close Diamondbacks games, the fact is that thus far, the D-Backs are just doing average. Just two teams have played more one-run games, and one has played the same number (14), but 7 more have played 13 one-run games. Only the White Sox have played more 1- and 2-run games. The minor difference between the D-Backs and the White Sox, however, is that the D-Backs are 14-9 in their games while the White Sox are 17-7. So is the D-Backs' OK but not outstanding record in close games indicative that they can continue their overall decent winning ways, or is it a sign that the excellent pitching can't hold out for much longer against a weak offense?

Out to Colorado for a 4-game set. The way the D-Backs have been playing, this could be more difficult than the records would suggest, especially since we're going up against Chacon and Francis, two pitchers who've given the team some trouble thus far this year. At this point, I'd be happy with getting out of there with a split.

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