1998 D-Backs: Games 3-5


In the first week of Diamondbacks baseball, obviously there was a ton of firsts. Most of those firsts can be seen here https://www.mlb.com/dbacks/history/club-firsts but this section of the 1998 is largely about their first losing streak.

The Rockies spoiled Opening Day and game 2, beating the Diamondbacks by a combined 15-2 score. Encouragingly, game 3 went a little better for the Diamondbacks.

Image result for april 2nd 1998 dbacks
PC- eBay


The Diamondbacks had a lead heading into the 6th after Jay Bell and Matt Williams both homered in the 5th. Starting pitcher Brian Anderson came back out for the 6th with a low pitch count, but again the middle of the Rockies lineup wrecked havoc.

Screen Shot 2020-03-15 at 2.33.23 PM
PC- Baseball Reference

Entering the inning with a 81% win probability, Burks got on base with a walk, Walker doubled, and Bo Bichette’s dad strikes again with a homer increasing the win probability to 64%. The score stayed at 5-4 until the 9th inning when Rockies’ Neifi Perez tripled and Perez actually scored via a Felix Rodriguez balk next batter.


1st: Matt Williams 2-5, HR, 3 RBI

2nd: Jay Bell 1-3, HR, RBI, BB

3rd: Tony Batista 3-4, R

Matt Williams and Jay Bell, the 2-4 sandwich that supported Travis Lee (who through 2 games is still my pick for greatest Diamondback ever) finally got their first hits in this game. After Edwin Diaz started the first 2 games at 2B, Batista received the game 3 start and thrived. As most people know, Tony Batista is most famous for his batting stance seen here:

Image result for tony batista batting stance
PC- Bleacher Report

The Diamondbacks acquired Tony Batista with the 27th pick from the Oakland Athletics in the D-Backs/Devil Rays Expansion Draft. Here is quick explanation of how that expansion draft worked.

Screen Shot 2020-03-15 at 4.07.18 PM
PC- Wikipedia

Opening Day 2nd baseman Edwin Diaz went 11th overall and this game’s starter, Brian Anderson, was the Diamondbacks first pick (2nd overall).  The full expansion draft will most likely get its own article down the road since it’s the origin of several Diamondback players, but for now you can view the full draft results here https://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/1997-expansion-draft.shtml.

Tony Batista struggled mightily in 1997 batting .202 with the A’s, but did have a strong rookie year in 96′ batting .298 in 74 games. Batista took the starting job in game 3 and ran with it. Edwin Diaz started the season 0-6 at the plate in those first 2 starts and didn’t play again until April 5th where he grounded out to first base in his only at bat. After that game, he was sent down to AAA Tucson and did not appear in the majors again in 1998. In 1999, Diaz hit a resurgent .311 with 11 homers in AAA earning a couple more cups of coffee appearing in 4 games over the course of 2 different call ups.

Screen Shot 2020-03-15 at 3.02.08 PM
PC- Baseball Reference

It makes me happy to see that Diaz did receive his first MLB hit considering he never made it back to the MLB after 1999. Despite being the 1998 inaugural Opening Day starting 2nd baseman, Diaz played in just 7 MLB games finishing 2-12 with a RBI. The Diamondbacks released Diaz after 1999, after which Diaz signed with the Rangers and played 3 more seasons in the minors before retiring.

Image result for edwin diaz dbacks
PC- Getty Images


Jerry DiPoto earned the save in this one for the Rockies. DiPoto earned a career high 19 saves in 1998.


Screen Shot 2020-03-15 at 3.09.49 PM
PC- Baseball Reference


The Rockies swept the Diamondbacks in the inaugural series and the struggles continued against the Giants. The Giants took 2 out of 3 against the National League Houston Astros in their prior series to begin their 89 win 1998. Jeff Suppan got the start for the Diamondbacks against the Giants’ Mark Gardner.


The Diamondbacks had a 1-0 lead after 4 innings with Jeff Suppan throwing well. Suppan had a perfect game through 3 and gave up just 2 singles in the 4th. Unfortunately, the 2nd and 3rd time around the lineup wasn’t as kind to Suppan.

Screen Shot 2020-03-15 at 3.15.02 PM
PC- Baseball Reference

Unlike the quick strike mashing Dante Bichette and Larry Walker did to unravel Diamondback games in the prior days, a walk, 2 singles, and a double gave the Giants a 3-1 lead. Jeff Suppan came back out for the 6th and despite getting Barry Bonds out to start the inning, Suppan gave up 3 straight hits forcing Buck Showalter to bring in Clint Sodowsky. Sodowsky got out of the inning, but then had 3 runs charged to him in the 7th.

Screen Shot 2020-03-15 at 3.21.14 PM
You guessed it PC- Baseball Reference

Through 2 appearances, the 35th overall pick of the Expansion Draft had 6 earned runs in 1.1 IP, good for a 40.60 ERA.


1st: Matt Williams: 2-4, 2 doubles

2nd: Scott Brow: 3 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K

3rd: Clint Sodo… just kidding… Brent Brede 1-3, triple, RBI, R, BB


Angel Hernandez was the home plate umpire for this game. He’s been torturing Diamondback fans since the start.


Screen Shot 2020-03-15 at 3.32.28 PM
PC- Baseball Reference


Well, the losing streak continues. At least in this game the Diamondbacks had a real shot to win it. Joel Adamson, the Diamondbacks number 5 starter, tossed the first quality start in franchise history (6 IP, 3 ER). This was definitely the peak of Adamson’s D-Backs career (we’ll get to that later).

Image result for joel adamson
Adamson at the 2017 Alumni Game (PC- Barry Stahl, Flickr)

The first Saturday night game at the BOB (Bank One Ballpark) resulted in another blown lead.


Joel Adamson actually had given up just 1 run through 6. With a 3-1 lead, Buck Showalter sent Adamson back out for the 7th. This also turned out to be the turning point of Adamson’s season and career. Adamson finished the game with just 80 pitches so it’s hard to argue that Adamson should have been pulled after 6, but JT Snow singled off Adamson and Brian Johnson hit a homer to tie the game.

Screen Shot 2020-03-15 at 3.44.59 PM
PC- Baseball Reference

The odds of the Diamondbacks winning this game went from 76% to 22% this inning. Gregg Olson came into the game and gave up 2 runs to give the Giants a 5-3 lead and the Diamondbacks never recovered.


1st: Jay Bell 3-3, HR, 3 RBI, BB

2nd: Andy Fox, 2-3, BB, R (Fox became the 3rd different D-Back to start at 2B through 5 games)

3rd: Joel Adamson 6 IP, 3 ER, 5 K, QS


Chris Jones has been used a pinch hitter in all 5 games (1-4, 2B, BB).


Screen Shot 2020-03-15 at 3.53.23 PM
PC- Baseball Reference

The Diamondbacks are now 0-5. It has been a brutal start to the franchise, but luckily Opening Starter and ace Andy Benes is getting the ball in game 6. This is the final chance the Diamondbacks have to win during the inaugural home stand.


By Todd Williams (@goldyhappens)

Subscribe to our Diamondbacks podcast “Snakebitten”on all podcast platforms, follow me on twitter and the podcast @Snakebittenpod

Comments are closed.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑