The offense for the Arizona Diamondbacks continues to be potent
What many conclude as a difficult season at best for the Arizona Diamondbacks, hitting is not a principal reason for the club’s fall from grace.
The essential decline of the team lay in the pitching. Both the starters and relievers share equal blame for the deterioration of expectation, and for the trouble which enveloped the season. While the offense has not tampered from the strong numbers of last season, the real disappointment lays with the fact that the pitching failed to catch up with the offense.
In sweeping the Colorado Rockies this week in Chase Field, that accomplishment was the first time the Arizona Diamondbacks swept a series this season at home. If there was any consolation, the hitting turned Chase Field into a band-box, and remained observers of the smaller stadiums which populated major league baseball in the formative years of the 20th century.
“It took long enough,” manager Chip Hale told MLB.com after completion of the sweep. “We’d have liked to have done it earlier, but the guys are playing hard. We talk to them a lot about keep playing nine innings, keep playing hard, and they’ve never stopped. Even during the tough times, the losing streaks, they’ve never stopped playing hard.”
During the Rockies series, the Arizona Diamondbacks scored 34 runs, and that is a franchise record for a three-game set. They banged out 50 hits and tied the mark for most hits in a three-game series. The 22 extra-base hits in the set also tied a franchise record, set against Seattle from June 18-20, 2012.
In concert with the Rockies, the two teams combined for 265 runs in their season series, and that’s the highest combined total since the start of divisional play in 1969.
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During the recent streak, two players, Jean Segura and Brandon Drury were the catalyst. Coming into Thursday game with the Los Angeles Dodgers at home, Drury was hitting .422 over his previous 18 games. He is also the first rookie in franchise history to hit homers in three consecutive games, and that happened in the Colorado series.
With a 5-for-6 game Wednesday night against the Rockies, including a pair of homers in each the second and third game of the Colorado series, Segura was the third player in Arizona history to accomplish this feat. He joins Reggie Sanders (April 20-21, 2001 and Tony Clark (Sept. 16-17, 2005) as hitting a pair of bombs in two straight contests.
As a team, the Arizona Diamondbacks remain one of the top hitting clubs in the National League. They are third in the league in batting team batting average. Only the Rockies and Miami Marlins have higher team averages. The Diamondbacks are eighth in home runs, and fourth in runs scored. They remain second to the Rockies in hits, and third in team slugging percentage.
Coming off a successful offensive season a year ago, the pitching additions of Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller was supposed to complement a lethal offense. With a strong spring from left-hander Patrick Corbin and confidence in a reasonable bullpen, the places, many believed, were in place to be truly competitive.
Instead, the offense remained potent while the pitching, with all of its difficulties, struggled mightily.