PHOENIX, Ariz. –– Sure, it’s the first week of the MLB season, but you would expect your home team, a.k.a. the Arizona Diamondbacks, to do better than winning two of seven games at home to start the season. Now, maybe I was the optimist who saw the glass half full after they went out and nabbed the top pitching free agent in the offseason, in Zack Greinke. And then they picked up Shelby Miller to be the solid #2 starter from Atlanta. And after the first week of the season, they are 0-4 with an ERA that doesn’t even deserve to be mentioned in a post about a Major League baseball team.
You know what, sure it does. What does 200M get you these days in free agency? An 0-2 start, and a 9.90 ERA. Who the hell is this guy? This is NOT the Zack Greinke who dominated the Majors last year as the best pitcher. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but even though he has a fan base that is used to coming up short, these fans are only going to stay with him for so long before expecting more from him.
And Shelby Miller, well…..
He’s only slightly better. He’s got a 9.00 ERA, but he did cost a lot less than Greinke. So we have that going for us. Arizona is currently ranked in the bottom five of the entire Major League in team pitching. I know that this is only the beginning of the season, but it needs to get fixed as soon as possible.
Now, before I get to mentioning some of the negatives the lineup needs to work on, let me calm everyone’s nerves who thinks I’m just bashing the Diamondbacks. There are a few solid points to get out there that practically nobody will be mentioning on any sports show this week, outside of Arizona. So, here you go, Diamondbacks fans!
Second baseman, Jean Segura, is surprising a lot of people with his bat already. In just the first week, Segura has hit three home runs (one inside-the-park), five RBI’s, and two stolen bases, along with an average of .407. Now again, I know it’s early, but so far, Segura has exceeded the expectations of almost everyone as the leadoff hitter for the Diamondbacks.
Paul Goldschmidt now has 7 RBI’s in 7 games, to go along with his 2HR’s, including one off of Arrieta, who usually doesn’t give them up. Everyone knows, as Paul Goldschmidt goes, the Diamondbacks offense goes. He shrugged off an 0-4 game on Saturday to go 2-4 with a HR and a double against Arrieta.
Socrates Brito hit his first career home run today against Arrieta, who again, doesn’t usually give them up. It was a line-drive over the right field fence, but it was a home run, nonetheless.
For the bullpen, Brad Ziegler hasn’t allowed a run yet in three innings pitched. He has only allowed one hit. Daniel Hudson and Matt Buschmann haven’t allowed a hit in their inning on the mound, and Tyler Clippard has the only other win besides Ziegler.
Well, they started the season at home and they are 2-5. Enough said about that.
The Cubs, on the other hand, started off their season on the road, and are now 5-1. Arrieta won his second game of the season today, after finishing second to Greinke last year in overall ERA. He also hit his 3rd home run of his career this week. He hit the other two last year. As for the other Cubs, let’s start with Anthony Rizzo, who already has 10 RBI’s in the first week, despite going 0-4 against Miller on Sunday. Dexter Fowler already has 10 hits in the first week, rides a five-game hitting streak after sitting out today, and has had at least 2 hits in four of five games started.
While the Cubs are 5-1 on the young season, the best ERA among starters comes from John Lester with a meager 5.14. If it wasn’t for the bullpen, there is no way this team would be 5-1. The bullpen has only allowed two runs this week, with Cahill giving up the walk-off single to Tomas on Friday night, and Strop giving up the other run.
So one team is sad to say goodbye to Arizona as they head home for their home opener against the Cincinnati Reds, while maybe the Diamondbacks will do better with a change of scenery. They are on the road against the Dodgers and the Padres before heading back home on April 22nd, against the Pirates.
By Jeff Demers
Heroes Media Group Sports
Director of Sports Entertainment