Ketel Marte

Ketel Marte is seen batting at Chase Field in 2019. He was one of the Diamondbacks’ top sluggers last year, but he hasn’t shown as much power this year. He’s still hitting very well and driving in a lot of runs.

We’re one-third of the way through the shortened 2020 season, so let’s check in on the standings and stats for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

As of Aug. 15, the D-Backs have improved their record to 10-11 and are just a half-game behind the San Diego Padres in fourth place in the National League West. They’re four game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are in first place and have a record of 14-7.

The Chicago Cubs have the best record in baseball at 13-5, .722. The New York Yankees have the best record in the American League at 14-6, .700. The worst record in baseball belongs to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-14, .222. That’s not even a good batting average. The Boston Dead Sox . . . er, Red Sox have the worst record in the American League at 6-15, 2.86.

The D-Backs have been hitting well, but not with a lot of power. Kole Calhoun leads the team with 5 home runs, but he, Nick Ahmed and Starling Marte are the only players with more than one home run. Ahmed and Starling have each hit two.

Starling is one of those players where you wonder what he could’ve done in a full season. He’s 2-.356-10. David Peralta is also having a good year. He’s 1-.338-15. He and Calhoun lead the team for RBI, although Calhoun is only batting .236. The other Marte, Ketel, is batting .329 with 9 RBI, but he’s hit just one home run. Christian Walker is 1-.303-11.

Eduardo Escobar, one of the big power hitters last season, has been a bust so far in 2020. He’s 1-.167-8.

As for pitching, who would’ve guessed Merrill Kelly would become the ace of the starting rotation? He’s 3-1 in four starts with a 1.71 ERA. He’s walked just 3 and struck out 28.

Zack Gallen is also looking impressive. He’s 0-0, but his ERA is a sweet 2.74. The D-Backs need to give him some support in the early innings so he can get a few in the win column. Like Merrill, he’s struck out 28, but he’s walked 4.

As for the rest of the rotation . . . Er, . . . If you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all.

Okay, I will just give you some stats. Madison Bumgarner, 0-3, 9.35; Robbie Ray, 1-2, 10.59; and Luke Weaver, 0-3, 11.85.

The top pitcher in the bullpen is no surprise:  Archie Bradley. He’s 1-0, 4.50 with 5 saves in 6 save opportunities.

I talked to my older brother the weekend before last. He lives near San Francisco, and he made a point of telling me how glad he was the Giants let Bumgarner go. He smiled when he said that.

On to other sports. Major League Soccer has become the first professional sports league to allow fans back into their games, based on local coronavirus ordinances. There were some 3,000 fans on hand when Dallas played Nashville Aug. 12 in Frisco, Texas. When all the players on both teams and the officials took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem to protest racial injustice, there were audible boos from the fans on hand.

Reggie Cannon, a Dallas defender and one of the black players on the team, lashed out at the boo birds following the game.

“I think it was disgusting. I think it was absolutely disgusting," Cannon said after the game, according to published reports. "You got fans booing you for people taking a stand for what they believe in. Millions of other people support this cause, and we discussed with every other team and the league what we’re going to do, and we’ve got fans booing us in our own stadium. How disgraceful is that? Honestly, for lack of a better word, it p----d me off... You can’t even have support from your own fans in your own stadium. It’s baffling to me.”

It’s not that baffling to me, Reggie. There are people who feel very strongly that players shouldn’t take a knee during the National Anthem. Of course they’re going to let you know what they think of it. You had your say, they had theirs. It’s called Freedom of Speech. You don’t have to like it, but it’s part of what makes this country great.

There are Americans who endured far worse when they took a stand than just noise from boo birds.

Maybe you should try playing in Philadelphia. Fans there have made razzing the home team a fine art. They booed Mike Schmidt for years, even though he’s now recognized as one of the best third basemen the National League ever saw.

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