The Arizona Diamondbacks began last week against the Cubs in Chicago. Although the D-backs dropped the first two games of that series, outfielder and former Arizona State Sun Devil Willie Bloomquist showed that he feels at home with the team.
In the first game of the series, Bloomquist led off the game with a home run. In game two, he knocked in the game-tying single. In the final game of the Chicago series, Bloomquist went 2-for-5 with one RBI. However, the “W” should be attributed to the hustle and incredible defense of outfielder Chris Young. Young fielded three excellent defensive plays and knocked in a couple of runs from the plate in what was a nice cap to the three-game series.
The D-backs returned to Arizona on Friday with a full head of steam as well as some motivation behind them as they faced the Cincinnati Reds for their home-opening game. The D-backs began the home stand with a bang, beating the Reds convincingly in the first game 13 to 2. On Saturday, the Reds pulled off the win in game two, but the Diamondbacks took the Sunday game, and the weekend series. Bloomquist ended the week with two doubles, one homer, five RBI, six stolen bases and a batting average of .394.
This week, the D-backs continue their home stand against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday and Wednesday. The world champion San Francisco Giants then come to town for a three-game weekend series.
In case you may have forgotten or you were unaware, Friday night is fireworks night at Chase Field, with postgame fireworks presented by Gila River Casinos. Friday is also Jackie Robinson Day. Saturday’s game will have a promotional All-Star game pin available to the first 15,000 fans. Sunday will feature D-backs silly bands for the first 5,000 kids, ages 12 and under. Hope to see you at Chase Field!
For ticket information, see the D-backs website. Take the light rail to the game! Chase Field is convenient to the 3rd Street stations — Washington Street heading westbound and Jefferson Street heading eastbound.
Previous week’s schedule
4/4/11 Cubs 4, D-BACKS 1
4/5/11 Cubs 6, D-BACKS 5
4/6/11 D-BACKS 6, Cubs 4
4/8/11 D-BACKS 13, Reds 2
4/9/11 Reds 6, D-BACKS 1
4/10/11 D-BACKS 10, Reds 8
4/11/11 Cardinals 8, D-BACKS 2
This week’s schedule
4/12/11 D-BACKS vs Cardinals, 6:40 p.m., Chase Field, Fox Sports Arizona
4/13/11 D-BACKS vs Cardinals, 6:40 p.m., Chase Field, Fox Sports Arizona
4/15/11 D-BACKS vs Giants, 6:40 p.m., Chase Field, Fox Sports Arizona
4/16/11 D-BACKS vs Giants, 5:10 p.m., Chase Field, Fox Sports Arizona
4/17/11 D-BACKS vs Giants, 1:10 p.m., Chase Field, Fox Sports Arizona
The Arizona Diamondbacks seem to be heating up, as the team won five of seven in the past week. During the week there had been speculation that a cancer in the clubhouse was removed and helped to rejuvenate the team. With the list pretty narrow, it is fairly easy to speculate who this might be. Between Conor Jackson, Chris Snyder and Dan Haren, if an elated response to a trade is any indication, then D-backs fans may know who to point the finger at.
The team clearly seems to be having more fun on the field, which always helps when winning. Taking both series in the past week should not be downplayed at all, considering the fact that the team faced a wild card contender and a National League leader last week. With pitching again being the story, run support behind pitches for strikes had helped the Diamondbacks immensely during the past week.
The week began with a series against the National League West-leading San Diego Padres, and the D-backs brought their A-game. The team won two of three by a narrow margin, holding the Padres at bay.
On Saturday, former outfielder Luis Gonzalez was honored, becoming the first Diamondback in the team’s history to have his number retired. The pregame ceremony was as memorable as the line to get into Chase Field, giving the D-backs their first sell-out crowd since Opening Day.
After the pregame ceremony, as the D-backs took the field, Gonzo ran with the team for what may very well be the last time in his career. Gonzalez serves in a management capacity in the Diamondbacks’ front office, and should be with the organization for a very long time to come. The D-backs went on to win that game, but lost a stinker on Sunday before heading to Milwaukee, where they nearly swept the Wild Card-contending Brewers.
During the stellar week, Stephen Drew earned his 250th RBI in his 600th game, becoming part of an elite group of D-backs, and being the quickest to do so. Chris Young also had an accomplishment of his own, as he became the first player in the Major Leagues in 2010 to become a 20-20 man with 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases.
After struggling against the Washington Nationals, the D-backs will get another chance to face the team, as they begin the weekend in our nation’s capital. After the series, the team will return home to Chase Field for a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds.
|Last Week’s Games|
|Fri, 8/6||Padres||W 2-1|
|Sat, 8/7||Padres||W 6-5|
|Sun, 8/8||Padres||L 1-10|
|Mon, 8/9||at Brewers||W 7-4|
|Tue, 8/10||at Brewers||W 2-1|
|Wed, 8/11||at Brewers||W 8-2|
|Thu, 8/12||at Brewers||L 4-8|
|This Week’s Games|
|Fri, 8/13||at Nationals||4:05 p.m.||Fox Sports Arizona|
|Sat, 8/14||at Nationals||4:05 p.m.||Fox Sports Arizona|
|Sun, 8/15||at Nationals||10:35 a.m.||Fox Sports Arizona|
|Tue, 8/17||Reds||6:40 p.m.||Fox Sports Arizona|
|Wed, 8/18||Reds||6:40 p.m.||Fox Sports Arizona|
|Thu, 8/19||Reds||6:40 p.m.||Fox Sports Arizona|
As we enter the week of the 2010 All-Star Game, the Arizona Diamondbacks have played a first half of a season that they would like to forget. In the past week, Kirk Gibson, who was named the interim team manager, appears to be working out some kinks with the team at the present time. In his debut as manager, the D-backs played some pretty aggressive baseball against the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers, as they beat the team convincingly last Friday night. With the final score 12 to 5, the D-backs ripped up the base paths and were able to knock some runners in by playing a little “small ball.”
In the following game against the Dodgers, Los Angeles returned the favor, defeating the D-backs 14 to 1 to begin the Diamondbacks’ five-game losing skid. As the team continues to struggle, new player names begin to appear on the “chopping block” as the talented team looks to improve its chemistry. The latest rumor has Dan Haren being used as a bargaining tool to receive some more talent. In order for anything to happen there, the D-backs would need to seek a ace-caliber pitcher in return for their ace. Catcher Chris Snyder is being looked at as well, as rumors continue to fly before the All-Star break.
Chris Young is the only D-back picked for the All-Star game, held this season in Anaheim, CA, home of the Angels. The annual home run derby, sponsored by State Farm, will be held on Monday and the game on Tuesday. The D-backs will have some time off to recalibrate the team for the second half of the season.
This weekend, the D-backs continue a four-game series against the Florida Marlins after winning the first game of the series. Saturday night’s game will feature a Greg Schulte bobblehead giveaway to commemorate the KTAR 620 announcer’s 2,000th D-backs broadcast. The promotion will be given to the first 15,000 fans in attendance. In the final game of the home stand and the final game before the All-Star break, the D-backs will be giving away Justin Upton T-shirts to the first 5,000 kids, ages 12 and younger.
Previous week’s games
07/02 — D-backs 12, Dodgers 5
07/03 — Dodgers 14, D-backs 1
07/04 — Dodgers 3, D-backs 1
07/05 — Cubs 9, D-backs 4
07/06 — Cubs 6, D-backs 4
07/07 — Cubs 8, D-backs 3
07/08 — D-backs 10, Marlins 4
This week’s games
07/09 — Marlins @ D-backs, 6:40 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
07/10 — Marlins @ D-backs, 5:10 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
07/11 — Marlins @ D-backs, 1:10 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
07/12 — 2010 Home Run Derby, 5 p.m., ESPN
07/13 — NL @ AL, 2010 All-Star Game, 5 p.m., FOX
The numbers may have looked a little odd last week, as the Diamondbacks were among the league leaders in home runs and runs scored, but were near the bottom of the National League West. Unfortunately, most of us are aware that the number of blown saves offset those numbers just a bit. This week, the stars and numbers seemed to be in alignment as the D-backs won four of five to bring them back to above .500 baseball. The team’s success can be attributed to the excellent run support that they have been generating in addition to some better relief.
The relief staff seems to be getting better and has had its moments of uncertainty where the pitching loses a solid lead, but this team is not like last year’s. The offense has been able to bounce back more often than not with additional runs throughout the game. Just a week ago, analysts were talking about the lack of runs scored in the later innings. This doesn’t seem to be a topic of concern for the team, as the Diamondbacks have been pummeling opposing pitching throughout the games.
In a challenging home stand against the Phillies, the D-backs were able to win two of the three games in the series and did the same against the Rockies. Winning match-ups against the defending National League Champion and the NL West Wild Card teams should definitely help boost some confidence. Additionally, the team beat the Cubs in the first of a five-game series in Chicago. The Cubs began the season playing good baseball and were among the favorites to lead the National League Central. The Chicago series will continue through the weekend.
Kelly Johnson and Mark Reynolds are among the current league leaders in home runs and RBI. Chris Young and Adam LaRoche also accompany their teammates in the RBI leader category, as the team leads the league in home runs, RBI and slugging percentage. Reynolds, who had an outstanding week last week, was named the Player of the Week for the National League. Johnson already is hitting better than he did last season, boasting more homers and RBI than he did in all of 2009. There is no doubt that the team has some power as they hope to stay on top of their game.
After the weekend, the D-backs will continue their road trip, heading to Houston to face the Astros for four games before returning to Phoenix. Winning games on the road is huge for any team, but winning games at home is just as important. Plan early to get out to Chase Field, as the D-backs will have a six-game home stand upon their return.
Last week’s games
04/23 — D-backs 7, Phillies 4
04/24 — Phillies 3, D-backs 2
04/25 — D-backs 8, Phillies 6
04/26 — D-backs 5, Rockies 3
04/27 — Rockies 12, D-backs 1
04/28 — D-backs 12, Rockies 11 (10 innings)
04/29 — D-backs 13, Cubs 5
This week’s games
04/30 — D-backs @ Cubs, 11:20 a.m., Fox Sports Arizona/MLB Network
05/01 — D-backs @ Cubs, 10:05 a.m., Fox Sports Arizona
05/02 — D-backs @ Cubs, 11:20 a.m., Fox Sports Arizona
05/03 — D-backs @ Astros, 5:05 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
05/04 — D-backs @ Astros, 5:05 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
05/05 — D-backs @ Astros, 5:05 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
05/06 — D-backs @ Astros, 5:05 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona