Objects In the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

Don’t look now, but the Diamondbacks are within striking distance.  With the recent tailspin of the Dodgers, few have noticed an interesting development in the National League West.  The Arizona Diamondbacks are a mere 5 games out of first place.  In the last six games, Arizona has gained five on the Dodgers.

So as we all focus on the Dodgers taking on the Giants in San Francisco, few are taking notice that by the All Star break, the D-Backs, with a strong run, could be close to if not in first place.  As the Dodgers and Giants beat up on each other for three games,  Arizona’s schedule places them in Atlanta and Milwaukee for six games before returning home to face the Padres. They then take on the Dodgers in a four game set just before the All Star break.  That could be as crucial a series that the Dodgers have had all season.

D-Backs starter Wade Miley is probably a lock for the All-Star team. (Photo courtesy MLB.com)

What have the Diamondbacks done lately?  A five game winning streak, 14 wins out of 20.   They haven’t been world beaters, but they are slowly inching their way up in the standings in typical “snake-like fashion” as they have taken advantage of inferior teams.  Arizona swept the Cubs, swept the A’s, took two of three from the Padres and Rockies.  All it took was a Dodger dive and a 10 1/2 game lead over Arizona is down to 5 1/2 over a 12 game stretch.

Any Kirk Gibson managed team needs to be reckoned with.  They have underachieved this year and there still is 52% of the season to be played.  The Dodgers will be facing Arizona head to head another 13 times.  Many of us seem to forget that the Diamondbacks were picked to win the division by almost all prognosticators when the season began.  Now over .500 at 37-35, they are in position to make a run.

Any Kirk Gibson managed team needs to be reckoned with. (Photo by Kirby Lee – US PRESSWIRE)

Arizona starter Wade Miley is 9-3 with a 2.19 ERA, probably a lock for the All Star team.  Trevor Cagill and Joe Saunders are have decent years.  Ian Kennedy has struggled, and if he turns things around, the N.L. West could be in trouble.  The Arizona offense has a lot of guys that can hit the ball out of the ball park.  Nobody is tearing the league apart this year, but many are having solid seasons, (Montero, Goldschmidt, Hill, Bloomquist, Upton, and Kubel).

We all key in on the intense Dodger Giant rivalry, all the while, the Snakes slither up closer and closer.  It sure caught me by surprise.  The Diamondbacks are still in this thing.

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4 Responses to “Objects In the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear”

  1. Ron Cervenka says:

    Trust me, Evan, I have been following the D-Backs very closely. I even prepared a post along these lines over on the forum but I deleted it because there are a few folks over there who think that my observations are too negative or pessimistic (as opposed to being realistic) and I didn’t want to upset anybody (enter Jack Nicholson visual here).

    As I noted in my Can a Healthy Matt Kemp Carry the Dodgers? and Pop! posts, the Dodgers lack of offense will most likely take them out of contention in the NL West and quite possibly the second Wild Card spot; but having guarded optimism, this could all change if Stan and Ned can pick up a power bat by the July 31 trade deadline.

    Also, as noted by Bluenose Dodger over on the forum, the Dodgers made some very significant moves in their Minor League system over the past couple of days which suggests that the Dodgers trading block is about to get very active. Although I believe that Zach Lee is (probably) untouchable, I don’t believe that anybody else down on the farm is – just my $.02.

  2. Bluenose Dodger says:

    I too have watched the D’Backs and kept thinking that they just don’t go away, as the Giants didn’t when we were smoking hot. A good point that you make is that this isn’t fantasy baseball, as I played it, but is head to head with 25 man rosters. We have allowed the D’Backs to close the gap. That’s not quite true. We just don’t have the horses to widen the gap. Now we have 13 laps to go with the D’Backs.

    I have the distinct feeling that something is up with the gathering of so many arms in Chattanooga: Reed, Lee, Withrow, Webster, Miller, Martin, Magill. If this isn’t show time for our arms, what is? It isn’t a perfect storm, but trade winds are gathering.

    I also have the feeling that Stan Kasten, who values the farm system, isn’t going to mortgage the farm for a stud horse now gone to pasture. I think it will be for a stud, not the old gray mare. That will be costly, but acquiring a good young player or players, for good, unproven prospects is a good deal. The catch is to determine who we can keep. The plan has to be to build a foundation beyond 2012 as we try to keep pace this season. That’s where acquiring young studs comes in.

    Personally, I think Chris Reed, a lefty, is our young pitcher closest to MLB ready. I don’t think any of our young pitchers are untouchable, but at this stage, Chris Reed is my closest to untouchable.

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