Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Slinking to a season-low 11 games below .500, the Arizona Diamondbacks fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers by a final of 4-1.
Working seemingly as slow as possible, whatever Josh Beckett did on Sunday afternoon stymied the Arizona offense. Over the course of his five innings, only Miguel Montero managed a base hit off Beckett before being gunned down heading into second by none other than Yasiel Puig. As resident Arizonans know—when it rains, it pours.
The one-man wrecking crew was not so much Beckett, as it was right fielder Yasiel Puig. By now, you know the name, and you know the story. He guns out base runners in a fashion that would make “The Sundance Kid” proud and bat flips gargantuan home runs. Both, of course, he did at the expense of the Diamondbacks on Sunday.
As the later innings approached and the Dodgers bullpen made its way to being apart of the contest, the Diamondbacks must have been feeling like there was a potential opportunity to steal the game, and more importantly, the series. Then, came the bottom of the sixth.
Hindsight has always been 20-20 for sporting events, and Sunday proved no different. It’s a managerial decision to walk a powerful left-handed batter, in order to face a powerful right-handed one. Manager Kirk Gibson had Josh Collmenter on a nice roll up until the RBI triple he incurred at the hands of Carl Crawford. After throwing four intentional wide ones, Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig hit one about four miles wide. A bean ball worthy bat flip later, and the D-Backs trailed 4-0.
Suddenly, an excellent start had turned into a miserable one, as the offense had virtually no chance of pounding out four runs over the remaining nine outs. Collmenter cannot be a legitimate long-term option in the rotation, as his afternoon showed. He has proven repeatedly that his early innings are his best. Used as a dynamic long reliever, Collmenter proves himself a valuable asset.
The only run to cross the plate for the D-Backs came via Eric Chavez, who drove in a run with his double in the top frame of the seventh. Playing for the flexible, yet incredibly error prone Martin Prado, Chavez may be seeing more time there if Prado, who has four errors already on the year, proves himself to not be suited for the hot corner.
If there is a silver lining, it lies in the fact that the roughest part of the schedule is in the rearview mirror. Ahead, three of the weaker teams in the National League (besides from the D-Backs, of course) are served up as the main dish with the Cubs, Phillies and Rockies making up the entrée.
In a bizarre night contest at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field tomorrow night, Bronson Arroyo battles his old teammate in Travis Wood. Hopping off the West Coast just to swing back around feels a bit like schedule purgatory, but wins are necessary at any cost when there are only five of them nearly a month into the season.
First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 P.M. as the slumping Diamondbacks attempt to topple the listless Cubs.