The Arizona Diamondbacks are off to an atrocious start, and, unfortunately, we can only say "it's still early in the season" for so long.
The Rattlers were swept by the San Diego Padres over the weekend, losing 6-3 on Friday, 5-0 on Saturday, and 5-3 on Sunday, placing the D-Backs in the familiar position of last place in the National League West.
The worst part for D-Backs fans is that two of last weekend's three losses would have been wins if it weren't for Padres third baseman Chase Headley -- who after last weekend, may have earned himself the middle name of "fucking" among the D-Backs faithful -- and the Diamondbacks terrible bullpen.
On Friday, the D-Backs led the Padres 3-0 for much of the game, thanks to a fine performance from pitcher Edwin Jackson.
Jackson gave up only three hits and no runs in six, strong innings for the D-Backs, but he started to run out of gas and the Rattlers were forced to look to their struggling bullpen -- and struggle it did.
The bullpen gave up six runs in three innings, including a game-winning, three-run homerun to Headley in the bottom of the ninth.
After the D-Backs were shutout 5-0 on Saturday, Headley put a halt to any chance of the Rattlers redeeming themselves on Sunday.
After leading the game through seven innings, Sunday's game was again at the mercy of the Diamondbacks bullpen, and Headley's bat.
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With two men on in the bottom of the seventh inning, and the game tied at two, Headley found the gap in left center with a blistering line drive, scoring the two base runners on the hit, as well as scoring himself on a throwing error by Diamondbacks shortstop Tony Abreau.
The D-Backs scored again in the ninth, making it 5-3, but the damage had been done and the Rattlers were unable to rally for the win.
Diamondbacks Manager A.J. Hinch wasn't thrilled about watching the bullpen blow another one, telling reporters after the game that "it takes 27 outs, not 21, not 24. It's no fun down there right now. It's going to take some resilience from us to get through this."
The Diamondbacks play again tonight, when they host the St. Louis Cardinals for a three-game home stretch at Chase Field. TV: Fox Sports Net. Radio: KTAR AM. For more information, go to www.diamondbacks.com.