The Arizona Diamondbacks’ visit to the west coast was a rough one as they struggle to defeat a couple of their west coast rivals. Despite winning the last two games of the week’s games, the D-backs lost some close games against some pretty important teams. With an opportunity to make some moves in the National League West standings, it was particularly rough on the team as they return home for a seven-game home stand.

While the team is about average in the majors in pitching and the relief staff has been doing better than a year prior, the relief staff would be the area that would that would contribute to most of the losses.

Battling the Champs

In the defending World Series Champion Giants’ sweep of Arizona during the three game trip to the San Francisco Bay, all three games were close ones as they struggled to knock in some runs against one of the best pitching staffs in the league. While dropping all three games in close fashion, the Diamondbacks were able to keep the games close as they would lose by one run in each of the games. Errors would plague the team in their final game against the Giants as they would prepare to head back down south for the weekend to face the Los Angeles Dodgers.

We Love L.A. Kind of… Okay, Not Really

In L.A. the Diamondbacks made a valiant effort to comeback in the first game of the series as they were shut out by Clayton Kershaw and his season high 11 strikeouts. In the eighth and ninth innings, the D-backs would begin to stage a comeback, but would not be able to produce enough runs to win the game. The final two games of the road trip included much needed wins for the Diamondbacks as they were able to shut out the Dodgers on Saturday. Josh Collmenter had an outstanding performance as he throws six scoreless innings against the Dodgers, leading the D-backs to a one to nothing victory. In the final game of the series, D-backs’ ace pitcher Ian Kennedy. The former USC pitcher would feel right at home as he earned the win with six solid innings of pitching while his team would contribute with a strong four-run second inning in the win.

What’s On Tap

The D-backs begin the week four games back in the National League West as they prepare for a two game series against the San Diego Padres. With some wins against San Diego, the D-backs look to make some improvements in the standings. The Braves of Atlanta will then arrive in Phoenix to play at Chase Field for three games before the D-backs weekend series against the Minnesota Twins in Interleague play. With the Braves currently in third in their division and the Padres just about even with wins and losses, the Twins are the worst performing team in the American League.

Garden Gnomes Storm Chase Field

In other news, 15,000 garden gnomes will be storming Chase Field on Saturday while the D-backs offer their weekend promotion during the Twins and Diamondbacks series. Backtracking to Friday night, the Diamondbacks will have their Friday Night Fireworks show upon the completion of the game. With the Diamondbacks continuing to be one of the best values in baseball concessions and the weather still being relatively kind to Phoenix, it would be a wonderful weekend to get out to Chase Field for a ball game.

For ticket information, see the D-backs website. Take the light rail to the next home game! Chase Field is convenient to the 3rd Street stations — Washington Street heading westbound and Jefferson Street heading eastbound.

Previous week’s schedule
5/10/11 Giants  1, D-BACKS 0
5/11/11 Giants 4, D-BACKS 3
5/12/11 Giants 3, D-BACKS 2
5/13/11 Dodgers 4, D-BACKS 3
5/14/11 D-BACKS 1, Dodgers 0
5/15/11 D-BACKS 4, Dodgers 1

This week’s schedule
5/16/11 Padres @ D-BACKS, 6:40 p.m., Chase Field, Fox Sports Arizona
5/17/11 Padres @ D-BACKS, 6:40 p.m., Chase Field, Fox Sports Arizona
5/18/11 Braves @ D-BACKS, 6:40 p.m., Chase Field, Fox Sports Arizona
5/19/11 Braves @ D-BACKS, 6:40 p.m., Chase Field, Fox Sports Arizona
5/20/11 Twins @ D-BACKS, 6:40 p.m., Chase Field, Fox Sports Arizona
5/21/11 Twins @ D-BACKS, 7:10 p.m., Chase Field, Fox Sports Arizona
5/21/11 Twins @ D-BACKS, 1:10 p.m., Chase Field, Fox Sports Arizona