Arizona Diamondbacks streaking, take NL West lead

Arizona Diamondbacks Manager Kirk GibsonThe Arizona Diamondbacks continue to shock the baseball world.  Experts had predicted the Diamondbacks would finish last in the National League West this year, with a 75-87 record.  The Diamondbacks have already surpassed that win total with a month of baseball left to play.  Much of their success can be attributed to the excellent decision-making by Manager Kirk Gibson and his coaching staff.  Gibson is keeping the team hungry, giving everyone playing time, making all the right in-game decisions, and has instilled a sense of confidence with the team that they can beat anyone.  The Diamondbacks have more come from behind wins this season than any other team in the Major Leagues. Gibson should be a front-runner for manager of the year no matter how the Diamondbacks end the season.

As the final month of the long MLB season begins, the Arizona Diamondbacks find themselves leading the National League West division by six games over World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.  There are 25 games remaining for the Diamondbacks, with six of them against the Giants.  The Diamondbacks start a critical three game series in San Francisco tonight.

August was a month of streaks for Arizona.  They began the month winning a series over the Giants 2-1, and losing a series over the Dodgers 1-2.  They lost their first game against the Astros, then won seven straight games.  After winning their first game against the Phillies, the Diamondbacks then lost six games in a row.  By August 22, the Diamondbacks were 10-10, and had a slim one game lead over the Giants.  Then the Diamondbacks ran off a nine game win streak to end the month, and all of a sudden, the lead over the Giants jumped to six games.  The Diamondbacks also broke a franchise record with 12 straight wins at home this month.

The Diamondbacks overall record in August was 19-10, which was their fourth winning month in a row.  With an overall record of 78-59, the team has already exceeded their total of 65 wins for all of last year.  With the recent win streak, the Diamondbacks are now 40-25 at home.  They still have a winning record on the road as well at 38-34.  For the fourth month in a row, the magic number for the Diamondbacks was 4.  If the Diamondbacks scored more than four runs in a game this month, their record was 16-1. If they scored three or fewer runs in a game, their record was 3-9.

Sean Burroughs Arizona DiamondbacksThe Diamondbacks offense continues to do just enough to win games, as different players continue to contribute to their success at different times. Newly acquired Aaron Hill, in a trade that sent Kelly Johnson to Toronto, has hit .355 since becoming the new starting second baseman for the Diamondbacks on August 23.  Sean Burroughs, who was out of baseball for five years, averaged .350 in August. Gerardo Parra also hit over .300 in August, with a .313 average.

The team batting average of .249 ranks them 20 out of 30 MLB teams, but the team ranks in the top 10 in home runs, slugging percentage, triples, RBI’s, extra base hits, total runs, and stolen bases.  They are best in the Major Leagues, hitting the fewest ground outs, and fewest ground outs into double plays.

Statistically Ian Kennedy has very similar numbers compared to last year in most categories.  The major differences are his 3.03 ERA compared to his 3.80 ERA last year, and his 17-4 record compared to 9-10 last year.  August was another good month, as Kennedy went 5-1 with a 2.31 ERA.  He has a good chance at getting 20 wins this season, and more than doubling the most wins of his career.

Arizona Diamondbacks Pitcher Daniel HudsonAt 24 years old, Daniel Hudson has almost doubled the total number of innings he has pitched in the major leagues this year alone. He is solidifying himself as a perennial starting pitcher for years to come.  Hudson pitched a 7 inning shutout against the Rockies, and ended August with a 4-2 record and a 2.88 ERA.

Joe Saunders had a rough August after lowering his ERA and opponents batting average each month prior.  He gave up 17 runs in 23 1/3 innings, but managed to pitch a 7 inning shutout against the Padres in his last outing of the month.  He ended 1-3 in August with a 5.08 ERA in five starts.

By going 3-2 in August, Josh Collmenter finally has a winning record on the season at 9-8. He was roughed up on August 5 against the Dodgers, giving up 6 runs in 2 1/3 innings.  If you eliminate that game from his August statistics, Collmenter would have had a 1.97 ERA, as he only gave up 7 runs over the last 5 games and 32 innings pitched.  He continues to do well in his first season in the major leagues.

Arizona Diamondbacks Pitcher Jason MarquisThe Diamondbacks acquired Jason Marquis to take over the fifth spot in the rotation on July 30 in a trade with the Washington Nationals. Marquis pitched in two games and couldn’t get past the fourth inning in either one.  He was averaging a 12.38 ERA going into his third start.  In the third inning of his third start, August 14, Marquis was hit by a batted ball and fractured his right fibula.  He was put on the disabled list and ended his brief stint as a starter 0-1 with a 9.53 ERA.  Once again, the Diamondbacks were back to looking for a fifth starter.

On August 16, the Diamondbacks selected the contract of Wade Miley from Triple-A Reno to replace Marquis.  Miley had a rough outing in his first start, lasting only four innings and giving up five earned runs.  In his next two outings, Miley pitched 12 innings, gave up only two earned runs, and was 2-0.  He ended August with a 2-1 record and a 3.94 ERA.  Not bad for a 24-year-old making his major league debut.

JJ Putz Pitcher Arizona DiamondbacksJJ Putz was back as the closer for the Diamondbacks in August after being on the disabled list.  He ended the month with 11 saves in 11 opportunities, and a 1.64 ERA. David Hernandez closed out two games in August, with a 1.54 ERA.  The Diamondbacks as a whole are 19-0 in save opportunities since the All-Star break.  The Diamondbacks as an entire pitching staff were giving up an average of 4.7 runs per game until they went on their nine game win streak to end the month.  During the streak, the Diamondbacks pitching staff gave up an average of only 1.33 runs per game.

At the end of August, the Diamondbacks find themselves at the top of the National League West standings.  If they continue to win at their current pace, they would end the season at 90-72.  This would probably be good enough for the Diamondbacks to win the division, and put them in the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

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~ by Troy Erickson Realtor on September 2, 2011.

One Response to “Arizona Diamondbacks streaking, take NL West lead”

  1. years later nothing to brag about

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