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Saturday, February.16, 2013
By Chris Lacey (Diamond Backs Correspondent) Follow @aecanada12
Arizona Diamondbacks fans had some high hopes coming into the 2012 season after winning the division in 2011 and making their way back to the playoffs for the first time 2007. The 2012 off-season saw them bring in free agent OF Jason Kubel. The season started off great with a three game sweep of the San Francisco Giants, but when CF Chris Young went crashing into the wall to catch a deep ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates the team was never the same. The Diamondbacks are in tough division the NL West, which is known for pitching. They will have to rely on their young starters if they hope to compete with San Francisco Giants & Los Angeles Dodgers. The offense will have to get better with manufacturing runs and instead of depending on the long ball to score runs. They traded away RF Justin Upton and 3B Chris Johnson, but they brought in versatile player Martin Prado and pitching prospect Randall Delgado.
Game #7 of the 2001 World Series – Gonzalez Game Winner – Can the 2013 DBACKS get back to the WS?
Friday August 17th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: As of today, the Atlanta Braves sit four games out of first place in the NL East. This division was supposed to be the strongest in baseball. The Nationals made moves in the offseason to acquire Gio Gonzalez, the Marlins signed three big name free agents to go along with the core of Hanley Ramirez and Giancarlo Stanton, and the Phillies kept their strong pitching staff intact. The Braves didn’t make any huge moves and stuck with what they had—a strong hitting lineup to back up a good pitching rotation. The Braves started the season with Tim Hudson, Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson, Brandon Beachy, and Mike Minor as their five-man rotation. Jurrjens was coming off a strong 2011 campaign in which he posted a 2.96 ERA through 152 innings. The Braves were hoping Jurrjens could replicate last season’s performance in order to give the team a better outcome and hopefully make the playoffs.
Unfortunately this was not the case for Jurrjens. He has been awful this year, going 3-4 with a 6.89 ERA. This isn’t the performance the Braves were hoping for, but somehow they are able to manage. Tim Hudson, the oldest on the staff at 36, has a 3.59 ERA to go with a 12-4 record. Tommy Hanson hasn’t been his best this year with a 4.29 ERA in 22 starts (his record is a bit deceiving at 12-5). He has also spent some time on the DL. The real story this year is Ben Sheets. After missing some of the 2010 season and not playing all of last year, Sheets joined the Braves midseason and has been fantastic. In his six starts this year, Sheets has gone 4-2 with a 2.13 ERA. In his 10-year career, Sheets’ best was 2004, when he posted a 2.70 ERA while going 12-14 with the Brewers. If he can keep his performance up, Sheets will have the best year of his career at age 34 (half a season, but still).