I hope you’re sitting down, because I have some surprising news.
Ready? As of this writing on May 1, the Arizona Diamondbacks are over .500 and are just two games out of first place in the National League West.
Easy now. Calm down. Don’t hyperventilate. Take deep breaths. In . . . out. In . . . out. There you go. Much better. I hope you didn’t dislocate your jaw when it dropped to the floor.
At this point, the N.L. West could turn into an interesting race this year. The San Francisco Giants are in front, but the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres are right behind them. The D-Backs are right behind the top three teams. About the only team in the West that appears out of it are the Colorado Rockies.
Of course, it’s only May. A lot could happen between now and October.
I can’t help but think a race involving all three of California’s National League franchises will do a lot to boost the attendance figures of all three ballclubs. As for the Dodgers, I’d bet they’d top 3 million again if it weren’t for all the coronavirus restrictions. They have consistently been the most successful and popular of the NL franchises.
Some of the new ballparks have lower capacities than the ones they replaced. There’s a feeling that ballparks that seated 50,000 or more for baseball are just too big. There are reports the D-Backs want a park that seats about 42,000 because Chase Field is also considered too big.
As for the Dodgers, I don’t expect them to want to reduce their capacity anytime soon. For them, Dodger Stadium’s capacity of 56,000 is just about right. The biggest ballpark for Major League Baseball’s most popular franchise.
As for the D-Backs, if they really want a lower capacity, perhaps they should replace those seats that feel like they were designed for skinny midgets. Some of us wide-bodied types would appreciate having more room. Maybe I’d have more room for another D-Back Dog. That is really my only complaint about Chase Field.
The D-Backs are playing much better offense this year than in 2020. I think some of them are trying to make up for last year, when I referred to them as the Arizona Sawdust Company. Eduardo Escobar leads the team in home runs with seven, and he’s currently 7-.243-16. Carson Kelly has been on a tear, and he’s 6-.339-17. David Peralta leads the team in RBI with 22 and is 3-.292-22. Kole Calhoun missed the first part of the season after knee surgery, but he’s been 2-.292-5.
On the other hand, two starters, Christian Walker and Nick Ahmed, are batting below .200.
For pitching, Madison Bumgarner has a winning record (gasp!) at 3-2. He’s also lowered his ERA to 5.58. Maybe he’s becoming his old self. Either that, or it’s remarkable what one can accomplish when one has a contract out on him (LOL).
Merrill Kelly is 2-2 and has lowered his ERA to 6.33. Zac Gallan showed he’s human by having a bad outing against the Rockies which made his record 1-1 and sent his ERA to 3.48.
The D-backs have had just two shutouts this season, and they both came in that double-header against the Braves where Bumgarner pitched a no-hitter that didn’t count because it only went seven innings.
As for the rest of the staff, as Thumper’s father told him, “If you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all.”
So far this season, the D-Backs look like they could either go places or they could fly apart at the seams and crash and burn. We’ll just have to see which team shows up more often to play.
It’s going to be interesting between now and October.