Like the Phoenix bird, the Arizona Diamondbacks have risen from the ashes and become contenders this season at 2 games back in the NL West. The mediocrity of Justin Upton who can turn it around at anytime and add on to the pile is for now overshadowed by Paul Goldschmidt and one of the more overlooked signings of the off season, Jason Kubel. One can only imagine who could Kubel would look in the red pinstripes right now and where the Phillies would be had they acquired his services.
On the mound last year's Cy Young contender Ian Kennedy is no stranger to the struggles of the season. At 9-8 with a 4.22 ERA, he's not quite the dominant arm he was last season but has turned in some really good starts as of late and racked up the strike outs.
Facing Kennedy is Joe Blanton, free from trade rumors for now almost certainly a waiver trade candidate. Of all the unfair opinions I read of Blanton, he's grinded it out this season and really put together some great starts. While it's rather pointless to carry him at this stage in the game with him approaching free agency, he's turned in a pretty decent season for a back end starter.
As for the rest of the team, they must pick themselves up and forget about their rather dead performance last night. You'll never convince me that Michael Martinez should ever be starting in center field. I always tend to go nuts when they call him up because while he's useful to the team, they are way too eager to find him at bats it seems.
This should be an interesting series. Arizona was able to do what the Phillies have been unable to do which is break out of a pretty poor early season.
NOTE: Nobody caught it but I did. Last night I refereed to pitching prospect Ethan Martin as Evan Mathis. I corrected this. I must have had football in the back of my mind.