Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Upon seeing their schedule for the first time during the off-season, the Diamondbacks must have believed it to be the worst April Fool’s Day joke of all. They were going to have run the gauntlet early and often.
When you supersede the New York Yankees’ payroll, you know that you’re handing out cash as if they were buy one, get one free coupons. The Los Angeles Dodgers have certainly done that–all with a smile on their face.
Clubbing the D-Backs by a score of 8-4, the Dodgers won for the fourth consecutive time against Arizona to start the season. The best part? The club travels to Hollywood for a series at Chavez Ravine next weekend.
Pitching against the Dodgers must be comparable to strapping some tender steaks to yourself, than attempting to run through a wolf’s den. There’s certainly no way you’re coming out the other side unharmed, if you even come out at all.
Wade Miley did not exactly make it through unharmed. Although he may resemble more of a wolf with his flowing long locks and rugged beard, Miley was just a sheep in the Dodgers way. Pitching only five innings and escaping with just five runs earned won’t help you sleep better at night, but it won’t keep you awake.
If only the Dodgers could be a one-dimensional club with just a ton of bats that everyone wanted to have, then maybe there would be a chink in their armor. Zack Greinke took to the hill Saturday, a virtual ace on every staff, sans the Dodgers. While he scattered some hits, he only allowed one run in just over five innings of work while striking out eight unassuming D-Backs.
Persona non grata in the great state of Arizona has undoubtedly become Adrian Gonzalez. For more than just his Hellboy-like destruction with the Dodgers, “El Titan” has been doing this since his days out in San Diego. In his career, Gonzalez is hitting .335 at Chase Field with 18 home runs, the most of any ballpark he has not called home. While I hear the Diamondbacks already employ a solid first baseman, it would be great to stop watching Adrian slam home runs all over the yard as he has done in the first two games of the series.
In order to understand the difference between the two clubs, you must identify with the issues that each have. Thankfully, both are going through the exact same problems as an organization; but the way Los Angeles solves them is exponentially more efficient.
The Dodgers have too many outfielders. You’ve heard the media harp on it a million times. With all four of them healthy, somebody has to sit. When they go to the bench, they have either Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier coming off; all legitimate players that are making a whole lot of cash. When the Diamondbacks go to their bench and determine that the bees inhibiting centerfield don’t have enough arm strength, they’re torn between Tony Campana and A.J. Pollock.
Being paid more money than any pitcher in the history of the game is Clayton Kershaw. Now, he finds himself on the disabled list. With this, the Dodgers need to find a replacement. What’s that you say? They already have Paul Maholm? A legitimate #3 or #4 starter on most teams in the National League is just sitting around waiting for someone’s elbow to shatter into a thousand bone spurs. On top of that, Chad Billingsley was the team ace nearly four years ago. He finally seems to be on the comeback trail, adding depth that is even more ridiculous. When Randall Delgado can’t get anybody out, Arizona brings in Randy Wolf from his job at Ace Hardware and calls up reliever Josh Collmenter into the rotation. Whoever said money can’t buy happiness?
Sunday afternoon features another possible calamity. Trevor Cahill takes the mound in opposition of Dan Haren at 1:10 P.M. The team message must be, hit, and hit often. In what could be an ol’ school Wild, Wild West shootout, the D-Backs are just looking to escape with their pride.