I just have this feeling that the Diamondbacks are going to get it done.
Of course, I had a similar feeling about the Mets last year, turned out to be bad guacamole. But this one sure feels real, even though:
• Manny Ramirez is hitting like .900 since he came to California and resurrected Jeff Kent’s career at the same time (something I only mention because I know how much he hates it).
• Greg Maddux is back in L.A. for his biennial rental, and he helped push the Dodgers home in 2006 with six wins.
• Even with Adam Dunn (Did Daron Sutton really call him “The Adam Bomb” last night?) anchoring the lineup, Arizona can’t average 64 walks a game down the stretch.
So why the optimism? Yep, I smell more bullets on the horizon:
• The D-Backs aren’t just winning games lately, they are winning the way they won in April, with all non-Doug Davis cylinders firing.
And when the bats falter, the starting pitchers will keep the losing streaks from extending.
• With Alex Romero, Tony Clark, Miguel Montero, etc., Arizona’s bench has some teeth to it and will get only better with Justin Upton and the September call-ups.
• The domino effect of Dunn in the lineup is obvious. This is a dicey defensive team, especially without Orlando Hudson.
He still doesn’t have a legitimate leadoff hitter, but Bob Melvin must have a lot more fun filling out the batting order these days.
• The schedule favors Arizona. The Dodgers have only 12 of their last 35 games at home and start the first of two 10-game road trips at Washington tonight. Now the list of opponents on the road isn’t overly daunting, but the Dodgers are only 26-32 as a visitor this season and they don’t have the kind of dominant pitching that can carry the day in road games.
NASH HANGING AROUND
As it turns out, the Suns don’t hold a team option on Steve Nash for the 2009-10 season. More than half ($7.5 million) of the $13.125 million he is owed that season is already guaranteed so, barring serious injury, Nash will be with the Suns at least two more seasons.
Don’t expect any extension talks between the two sides until next summer, but if Nash is still motivated and has time to fit basketball into his ever-busier schedule, Phoenix figures to be interested.
• The U.S. losing the gold medal game in softball has to be the biggest stunner of the Beijing Olympics. With softball no longer an event in 2012 and possibly gone forever, to have the sport’s Goliath fall in the final game is shocking.
• So, how many of us think that Anquan Boldin and the Cardinals will be able to put aside their financial differences this season and work together to get the Big Red back to the playoffs? Hey, stop that laughing.
• The Suns have two ways to go now that Goran Dragic will be Nash’s backup.
They can replace D.J. Strawberry with a veteran point guard that can run the offense in a pinch without pushing for playing time (don’t think Sam Cassell-type, think Darrell Armstrong-type), or they can keep Strawberry — who is still nowhere near a point guard — and go with Leandro Barbosa as the No. 3 option and run a more structured offense to take pressure off him.