Outfielder Chris Young was so bad last season that the Arizona Diamondbacks sent him down to the team's Triple A club to re-teach him how to hit. Apparently, his stint in Reno did him some good because after the first six games of 2010, he's hitting pretty darn well with 11 runs batted in already (he had 42 in all of 2009) after a fruitful three-game series this weekend against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
On Friday, he crushed a grand slam, and on Sunday, he launched a three-run homer in a 15-6 rout of the lowly Pirates that sent the D-Backs to a 4-2 record in the first week of the season. Granted, it's too early to get too excited about Young and the team's success, given that the Pirates and the San Diego Padres are expected to be more or less wretched in 2010. But a bounce-back season from Young would give the D-Backs as good a hitting corps as any team in the National League West.
It wasn't all good news for the D-Backs this weekend, as catcher Miguel Montero hurt his knee in Saturday's 6-3 loss and was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday. Montero stole the starting catching job from Chris Snyder midway through 2009 season and was expected to be a potential 20-homer threat this season. Now relegated to a backup role, Snyder (the superior defensive catcher of the two, by the way) responded with a five-RBI performance Sunday.
Sunday's starting pitcher, Edwin Jackson, helped himself out with a home run in the D-Backs' team-record 13-run fourth inning. Jackson is now 1-1 after going seven decent innings. Jackson was spotty in the opening frames, giving up four Pirate runs, but he settled down nicely after the offense gave him a 11-run lead.
New second baseman Kelly Johnson hit his third home run of opening week, and shortstop Stephen Drew (also looking for a rebound year) drove in two runs Sunday.
The D-Backs have the day off today before their first meeting of the year with 2009's division champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers opened their season with a couple of series losses against the Pirates and the Florida Marlins. Joe Torre's club is 2-4 after the first week of play.
Tuesday's game has a 1:10 p.m. start at Dodger Stadium, with former Yankee Ian Kennedy taking the mound against Dodger phenom Clayton Kershaw, who was roughed up in his first start of the season.