Finally! Someone broke the tie in our "Rename Melvin Mora" poll. Thank you!
My choice was Solomon Salmone. Mora just looks like a Solomon someoneto me, but cherished readers have spoken. From now on, or as long as we feel like it, we'll refer to our ancient third sacker as
In other news, Kevin Towers' mesmerizing balancing act has defied logic, levski and low expectations, catapulting to the divisional lead on the magical trajectory of eighteen wins in three weeks. What's not to like?
Well, the schedule's been about as strong as Xavier Nady's arm, and pitching's been as sustainable as Charlie Sheen in a monastery. Chuck Nagy's nurtured a gaudy five pen men sporting sub-2 ERAs. Their low BABIPs wont collectively stand and may only be mitigated by tightening up the rotation's rear, which appears underway with the relative stabilization of Joe Saunders and swapping out Galarraga and Enright for Collmentor and Duke.
Batsmen currently stand third in NL runs, ahead of Philly, Colorado and Milwaukee, and it's encouraging there's at least some probable individual regression ahead in opposite directions. Even with inevitable dips,it's harder to envision this group in their collective primes falling, say, below NL average, than challenging towards the circuit's runs scored lead.
But how good, really, is this team? Any doofus can discern it's better than it's been the past two years. They're not going to lose 95 games. But that doesnt tell us how good they are, only how bad they're not. Just over a third of the way home, Arizona sports the NLW's best run differential. So this isnt exactly 2007, either.
But the looming, latent worry is the nexus of pitching and schedule. As Diamondback fans, we're excited to be leading as late as early June, but that's just late to us, given our recent history. There are almost twice as many games left to play, over 900 innings to be pitched, by a group almost sure to erode and decline, perhaps significantly. Collmentor, Paterson and Hernandez are way over their heads. Kennedy, Vasquez and Demel will be very hard pressed to sustain results to date. The closer is good but fragile. Of the entire staff, perhaps only Hudson can reasonably be expected to improve on his April and May.
The Diamondbacks may appear to be a contending MLB outfit, but are probably closer to an average/slightly below average squad, riding a crest of premature promise. Early hints of a mundane NL West may or may not roll all the way to September's shore, but an unexpectedly favorable early schedule followed by a more representative one, and anticipated random variation should prove to be as inexorable as the tides.