Monday, August 01, 2005

You. Must. Be. Joking. 


First place, National League West.

If you'd told any Diamondbacks fan on April 1 that on August 1 their team would be 3 games below .500, they would've been happy. That translates to about 79 wins for the season as a whole, above all but the most optimistic of projections.

If you'd told any Diamondbacks fan on April 1 than on August 1 their team would be tied for first place in the National League West, they would've smiled and nodded politely, while slowly edging their way to the door, ready to bolt.

How in the name of Luis Emilio Gonzalez did the Diamondbacks end up here?

Well, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, Mr. Bickley, and let us now pause a moment to thank the gods of hubris for letting the Diamondbacks play in the same division as the San Diego Padres. After the All-Star Break, the San Diego press essentially said that the division was the Padres' to lose.

A statement which the Padres have taken to heart.

They are 3-13 since the All-Star Break -- and two of those wins came against the Diamondbacks.

The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, went 9-8. Nothing spectacular, but nothing craptacular, either.

Apparently "nothing craptacular" is enough to keep you in this thing this year.

Of course, the series against the Cubs might very well have been the most encouraging all year for D-Backs fans. Taking 3 of 4 on the road against a decent Cubs squad. Scoring 25 runs. Getting great starting pitching. The Friday 4-3 loss to the Cubs was difficult, as I watched the game through to the Diamondbacks finally breaking through in the eighth inning, missing the heartbreak of the collapse in the bottom of the ninth. (Oh, for consistency -- one way or the other -- from Bruney). But they came back and held on 3-2 Saturday.

And then Sunday's game was one of those fun games where you turn on the TV every so often because you're doing other work, and every time you turn it on, the team you're cheering for has increased its lead. I didn't see a single one of the 5 homeruns, but I didn't care. 13-6. Take that, Mr. Pythagorean!

There's more to talk about -- Cruz's trade, Clark's rumored extension, Conor's arrival, a virtual YARRPPOW (Yet Another Random Relief Pitcher Plucked Off Waivers) -- but I'll get to that tomorrow.

For today, let's savor the fact that for at least another 24 hours, the Diamondbacks will be in first place in the National League West.


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