The Diamondbacks are riding their longest winning streak of the year as they head to Arlington, Texas to take on the first place Rangers starting Tuesday. They’ve now won five in a row following their three game sweep of the Oakland A’s over the weekend. It was the second sweep of the year for the Dbacks and first since opening weekend against the visiting Giants.
*Record Notes: The Dbacks have climbed back to .500 for the first time since May 5th and now sit at 30-30. They’ve won three consecutive series for the first time all year and have improved to 8-2 in their last ten at Chase Field. Over their five game win streak the team has outscored their opponents 38-15, averaging seven runs a game.
GOOD: Team Offense. The offense is really clicking right now from top to bottom and if fact, they’re the hottest team in the N.L. over the last week and have posted a team average of .313 and .377 OBP- second in all of MLB to the L.A. Angels. There are many players who have made this possible and Jason Kubel was given the recognition this afternoon being named Co-player of the week for hitting .409 with 18 total bases and 12 RBI’s- tied for most in the majors over that span.
*1-4 Hitters. In the first two games of the A’s series the 1-4 hitters combined to go 16 for 33 (.485) with 11 runs, 9 RBI’s and four extra base hits. Obviously this production is a big reason why the team was able to put up 17 runs in these two games and post two wins. While we can’t really expect this type of production on a regular basis, the key for this lineup is to avoid the severe dips in production that the team has seen in weeks past.
*Trevor Cahill was put face to face with the prospect the Dbacks drafted ninth overall in 2007 and stepped up to the challenge. Cahill was traded for Jarrod Parker in the offseason and there has been a lot of skepticism around the move with Cahill struggling much of the year. However, thanks to Montero’s grand slam, the offense was able to chase the young right-hander in the fifth and Cahill worked into the eighth inning allowing just two earned runs while striking out seven. He lowered his ERA to a very respectable 3.36 and has won back-to-back games for the first time as a Diamondback.
*Josh Collmenter took over for Daniel Hudson with two outs in the second inning, already down 5-0 but did a phenomenal job shutting down the A’s over the next three and a third innings. He could probably be considered just as much the MVP of Friday’s game as Ryan Roberts and is the reason the offense was able to chip away at a 6-0 deficit before the end of the second inning. Collmenter continues to be impressive out of the bullpen and has a 1.57 ERA since losing his spot in the rotation at the end of April.
*Paul Goldschmidt continued his torrent month this weekend upping his hit streak to 17 games with four hits against the A’s. During his streak the first baseman has nine doubles, six homeruns and is hitting at a .419 clip. Over his last seven games, his OPS is reminiscent of Bonds circa ’01 with a 1.395.
*Notables: Aaron Hill added four more hits this weekend and sports a .435 AVG with six extra base hits in his last seven games. He also had a homerun robbed by Seth Smith on Friday night.
Willie Bloomquist continues to impress posting his third straight multi-hit effort going 5 for 10 vs the A’s. He now has six multi-hit games in his last seven. Again, stop resting this guy!
Ryan Roberts had his best game of the season on Friday with two long doubles off the center field wall and the game winning three run-walk off homerun with two outs to cap a 6-0 and 8-4 comeback. How did he follow up that performance? Gibby benched him on Saturday of course.
BAD: There wasn’t much to complain about in this series but here are a couple quick stats anyway.
*Late inning Comeback wins. While the Diamondbacks of 2011 led all of baseball with 46 come from behind wins, until Friday nights walk-off win the team was 0-25 in games that they trailed after eight innings.
*Strikeouts. The team struck out 25 times over the three game set including seven of their ten strikeouts ‘looking’ on Friday.
UGLY: Daniel Hudson suffered the shortest outing of his career Friday night allowing eight hits and six earned runs in just one and two-thirds innings. It took him sixty pitches to get that far and he left with two runners on before Josh Collmenter relieved him.
*Base Stealing. In my opinion, their base stealing as of late (see-last six weeks) hasn’t been bad- it’s been god awful. Yes, with the Diamondbacks riding a five game win streak they are preaching their aggressiveness as an advantage but this boneheaded base running is the exact thing that was running them out of innings when the going was rough. Both Upton and Roberts were picked off (again) while leading off first in this series, neither one of them even close. Aaron Hill was also thrown out stealing second and as of Monday, the team has been caught stealing 25 times- most in all of baseball. I sincerely hope they are spending extra time on pick-off moves by left handed pitching because they’re about as bad as it gets right now.
NOTES: The Diamondbacks were exceptional with two outs in this series collecting eight of their nine runs Friday and seven of their eight runs Saturday with two outs.
*With their recent offensive outburst, the team has climbed into ninth place in all of baseball (5th in N.L.) in team average and third in both OBP and OPS. They’ll need to keep this up through the week as they play the Rangers who own the highest team batting average and the Angels who are the only team playing hotter than the Dbacks in the last week.
*Not to burst the bubble but to put these wins in perspective- in the last three series the winningest team the Dbacks have played is the A’s who now sit at nine games under .500.
Now bring on the Rangers!!
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