Big Arizona sports weekend in review
This weekend was filled with sports for Arizona sports fans. We had the Diamondbacks dramatic and heartbreaking do or die game five on Friday afternoon. Arizona States big road win at Utah along with the Phoenix Coyotes opening the season on Saturday. Then the Cardinals (searching for a nice word…..) pathetic performance (best that I could come up with) on Sunday morning. Lets start in order with my reviews starting with the Diamondbacks.
The Arizona Diamondbacks amazing season came to an unfortunate halt on Friday when they fell to the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 in ten innings. This was a game that could have gone either way and really the Diamondbacks had many more opportunities to score, but it just was not meant to be. The Dbacks left 11 runners on base and hit 2/11 with runners in scoring position compared to the Brewers leaving just seven and hitting 2/7 with RISP. The Dbacks left runners on third base in the 6th, 8th and 9th, but just could not get that last run home. Nonetheless it was a very successful season for the team. Going from 65 to 94 wins is very hard to do and Diamondbacks fans should be extremely proud of their team and excited looking into the future. The loss was heartbreaking for the moment, especially when they tied the game in the 9th and we all believed at that moment that this team would get their 49th come from behind victory of the year, but again it was meant to be more so for the Brewers. With some very promising pitching prospects expected to contribute next year and most of this team expected to remain intact, this team should be contending for division titles for years to come.
Coyotes fans biggest fears came true in the Opening game against the San Jose Sharks that our biggest strength the last two years is now their biggest weakness. New goalie Mike Smith gave up six goals in a 6-3 defeat in a game that is hopefully not a preview of this season. Former Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov signed a lucrative contract with the Philadelphia Flyers this offseason after leading the team to two consecutive playoff appearances. The Coyotes decided to go into this season with the backup goalie of the Tampa Lighting last year Mike Smith and their own backup last year Jason LaBarbera. Why did they decide to go into a season with such unproven goaltenders? Because they have no money to spend with no ownership group yet. This team has been at a competitive disadvantage for the last couple years by being owned by the NHL which limits the amount of money GM Don Maloney is allowed to spend on players. The last two years they were lucky with one of the best goalies in the league behind the pipes for them, but this year I think is the year they will struggle since he has left and they did not improve much on the offense. The Coyotes only hope to another successful season is by winning those 2-1 and 3-2 type of games and I don’t know if the Coyotes have the goaltending to do that this year.
Arizona State Football
By beating Utah 35-14 on Saturday it puts them in the lead and speeding away quickly from the rest of the Pac 12 South for the right to play the winner of the Pac 12 North for the right to go to the Rose Bowl in December. Colorado, Utah, and Arizona have yet to win a conference game and with USC still on bowl probation there only worry right now is 2-1 UCLA which still has games at UA, Utah, and USC. Asu does not have to play either Stanford or Washington who are both undefeated meaning after Oregon this week they could easily win out and even if they don’t and have a slipup they are still in great shape. With recent whispers that star senior cornerback Omar Bolden could return this season and the looks of an easy schedule the rest of the way Arizona State could be in the process of a real magical season in the desert.
I think it is time some fire is put on Ken Whisenhunts seat. What happened Sunday was an embarrassment to this team and its fans and we have been blaming the players for too long. Maybe the fact is that these players that Whisenhunt assembled are just not that good. Quick note: I am not going to bash Kevin Kolb, yes he has been awful, but I am going to give him a couple more weeks to get this system down. There are plays where you do see his potential to be a good Quarterback in this league so let’s let this thing play out some more. Back to Whisenhunt, we can officially say that this is his group of guys being it is his 5th year with the team. Everyone gives him a pass because (Kurt Warner actually) he led us to the brink of a Super Bowl. Fun fact for everyone, but I found 15 of the 22 starters for that Super Bowl team were on the 2006 team which was the last team Dennis Green coached. That means his (Kurt Warners) Super Bowl team were made up of Denny’s guys. As that team disassembled when guys like Karlos Dansby, Antrel Rolle, Anquan Boldin, Antonio Smith, Kurt Warner, Bertrand Berry, and Gerald Hayes all left or retired it became Whisenhunt’s guys. And his guys have gave us a 6-15 record and it is not looking much better this year. I dont think Whisenhunt will get fired this year, but if this does not change next year then I highly doubt he comes backs in two years. Right now Cardinals fans can only hope that this is just a bad stretch and we will make something of this year, but with the 49ers looking like they finally figured things out a 6-10 season is right around the corner.
Thank you everyone for taking the time to read this blog and I only hope to get better. Also if you could take a moment to subscribe to my blog I would greatly appreciate it! Remember every Friday I will do my weekly football picks, so make sure to check back around noons on Fridays for my picks.