After the Diamondbacks six and one home stand, they took to the road to encounter a very tough Atlanta Braves squad. The Braves took the first two games with very little resistance from the Diamondbacks. In game three, the Diamondbacks were able to scratch out a win before departing for Milwaukee to take on the Brewers.
The Diamondbacks were not feeling that good about losing two out of three in Atlanta and when it seemed that the Diamondbacks were out of their month-long funk, they seem to find it again in Atlanta.
Game one against the Brewers saw the bats come alive again for the Diamondbacks. Several players for the Diamondbacks had an outstanding game, but none were more outstanding than Aaron Hill.
Game one saw Aaron Hill hit for the cycle for the second time in 11 days. This is a feat that hasn’t been done since 1931 when Babe Herman hit for the cycle twice in a season for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Hill’s bat has seemed to ignite other Diamondback players as well. Several players that have struggled all season have started to heat up. Where the spotlight is shining on Aaron Hill, that same light is casting shadows upon players like Chris Young.
For those that may not know, Young began the 2012 season at a record pace only to see it come to a screeching halt with a shoulder injury that sidelined him for several weeks. Since Young’s return to the lineup, he has yet to regain that form.
This cannot be an easy situation for manager Kirk Gibson. Where Young is considered one of the team’s leaders, up and comers like Gerardo Parra, continue to sit the bench and play every few days. Parra was one of the Diamondbacks mainstays last year during their run to the NLCS.
Parra’s defense is stellar and his arm is unequaled in the Diamondbacks outfield. The controversy in bringing Jason Kubel to the Diamondbacks sending Parra to the bench has now shifted to Chris Young. Going into last night’s game with the Brewers, Chris Young was batting an ugly .221 while Parra’s average continues to climb and is up to .269.
To Parra’s credit, he has handled this season as a true professional. He has continued to support his fellow teammates from the dugout and in the clubhouse.
When he’s gotten his chance on the field, he has also been a vital part of the Diamondbacks resurgence in the West.
Just to week ago, the Diamondbacks trailed the Dodgers by 10 games but now find themselves only four games out of first place.
It appears like the Diamondbacks are set to make another run after the All-Star break as they did last season. They will still be battling their divisional rivals in the Dodgers and the Giants. The Diamondbacks still must approve that they can win on the road.
Their last few home stands have been extremely productive and a key to getting back in the pennant race, but their road record leaves a lot to be desired. So after taking game one in convincing fashion by the score of 9 to 3, Diamondback fans will have to wait and see which team shows up for the remainder of the series.
If the Diamondbacks hope to repeat as NL West champions, they must do better than losing 2 out of 3 on road trips. Time will tell and the Diamondback fans will have to be patient.
Joe Saunders has a strained shoulder and expects to return in a few weeks. Meanwhile the Diamondbacks have brought up their two young studs from the minors to fill their slots.
Fans have been chomping at the bit to see these young men in action.
Things are shaping up to be an interesting second half of the season once again.