After returning home from a less than stellar road trip, the Arizona Diamondbacks showed signs of life, as they have fared pretty well on their latest home stand. With pressure mounting and the Colorado Rockies coming to town, the D-backs were able to take the series against Colorado by winning two of the three games against the team. After facing the Rockies, the team split the next series against a hot Atlanta Braves team. A split is nothing to be upset about. The Braves came into Phoenix on top of their division, and the Diamondbacks were able to play some solid baseball against the team.
Although the bullpen continues to raise concern, the starting pitching rotation has performed well, including an excellent D-backs debut of the “D-train” Dontrelle Willis. Willis provides a new spark to the team, as he can be seen pacing the dugout, motivating his new teammates. He seems to have made himself at home as he recalled his first visit to Chase Field, then Bank One Ballpark. Willis mentioned that he went to the third-level seats to sit in the very section, before the game, that he sat in to watch the team play while he was here in the Cubs organization. Another pitching point worth noting is that Ian Kennedy has seemed to find his groove, performing well in his no-decision outing on Wednesday night.
Another baseball event that took place this week for the D-backs was the 2010 first-year draft, where the team loaded up on pitching. Knowing where their troubles lie, the Diamondbacks chose pitchers in 10 of their first 13 picks. The first-round pick for the D-backs was Barret Loux from Texas A&M. Loux was expected to go a bit lower in the draft by most, but the D-backs have had their eye on the right hander for some time. Last year, the Diamondbacks loaded up on position players, so there should be enough talent to staff the farm teams.
This weekend, the D-backs finish up their home stand at Chase Field with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals have been struggling as of late, losing four in a row to be overtaken by the Reds in their division. The Cardinals have solid pitching and a perennial All-Star in Albert Pujols. The weekend series is, once again, filled with promotions for the fans, as Friday is — you guessed it — fireworks night at the stadium. On Saturday, the first 15,000 fans in attendance will receive a Dan Haren bobblehead, and on Sunday, the first 5,000 kids in attendance will receive a D. Baxter replica jersey. Sunday is also Baxter’s 10th birthday bash. Next week the D-backs will head to the east for Interleague Play, taking on the Boston Red Sox.
Previous week’s games
06/07 – D-backs 7, Braves 4
06/08 – Braves 7, D-backs 5
06/09 – D-backs 2, Braves 1
06/10 – Braves 11, D-backs 7
This week’s games
06/11 – Cardinals @ D-backs, 6:40 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
06/12 – Cardinals @ D-backs, 5:10 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
06/13 – Cardinals @ D-backs, 1:10 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
06/15 – D-backs @ Red Sox, 4:10 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
06/16 – D-backs @ Red Sox, 4:10 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
06/17 – D-backs @ Red Sox, 4:10 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona