Arizona Diamondbacks: Team remains focused, disciplined

Paul Goldschmidt raised his batting average to a current .335. (Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports)
Paul Goldschmidt raised his batting average to a current .335. (Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Arizona Diamondbacks just completed their most productive three-city road trip in franchise history.

If there was an early season test for the Arizona Diamondbacks, the results of their recent 10-day journey from the desert could ally fears and trepidation. Then again, what was accomplished during their just-completed three-city road trip should not be a mystery.

Flying back Thursday night to the desert after a 7-1 trip, that percentage mark of .875 is the best in franchise history for a three-city trip. What seems to be equally amazing is how this team handled the Colorado Rockies in the Rox back yard. Reputation surrounding Coors Field is legendary, but the fact the Diamondbacks scored 26 runs in the final two games of the series remains a testament to their character, resiliency and dedication.

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That seem to embody right-hander Zack Godley, the Thursday starter. After surrendering a lead-off homer to Charlie Blackmon, Godley settle down and retired, at one point, 19 of 20 hitters. In addition to Blackmon’s 16th bomb of the season, Godley yielded a first inning single to Nolan Arenado and allowed only one base runner (a third inning walk to Blackmon) until Raimel Tapia’s infield single in the eighth. The result was a 10-4 Arizona victory, and a season record now of 46-27, 19 games above .500.

Afterward, Godley told he arrived on the pitching mound at Coors with a mission.

"“We came in here and did what we needed to do, more for ourselves than anybody else,” Godley said. “It showed that we’re playing good ball. We’re swinging the bats well and we’re throwing the ball well so we’ll just keep trying carry that over into the next day.”"

If Godley arm was a significant factor toward the latest victory, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt continues to lead by example. With a 3-for-5 afternoon Thursday and four RBIs, Goldschmidt leaped over teammate Jake Lamb (61) to grab the National League RBI lead with 64 runs driven across the plate. In the process, Goldschmidt run his hitting streak to nine games and recorded two straight, three-hit games twice over those nine games. In this period, Goldschmidt is hitting .463 (19-for-41) with 12 runs sored, four doubles, five homers and 17 RBIs.

All of which prompted manager Torey Lovullo to point out to that his team is well prepared, well-disciplined and opportunistic.

"“I think that’s something that we’ve one all year long where we start to sense that there’s a rhythm to the day and that there’s more than just one run sitting out there,” he said. “Our guys take advantage of those moments. It’s a credit to them, their preparation and their mind-set.”"

Now, the Diamondbacks return from the most productive three-city trip in club history and await the tepid-hitting Philadelphia Phillies. After sweeping the Fightings last weekend at Citizens Bank Park, the two teams now engage in a four-game set.

If the Phillies are not already reeling from a terrible season, they now face the team with the best record at home in the majors. Coming into Friday’s series opener, the Diamondbacks are 26-9 in Chase Field, and the only team which does not have double-digits losses at home.

Given that reality, the Phillies enter this series 25 games below .500 and possess the worst record in the majors. They are second in negative run differential with minus 94. Only the San Diego Padres are higher with a minus 117.


The series with Philadelphia begins Friday night. That’s when the Phillies send rookie right-hander Mark Leiter, Jr. (0-0, 4.74) against lefty Patrick Corbin (6-6, 5.19). On Saturday, look for lefty Robbie Ray (7-3, 2.87) to take right-hander Ben Lively (1-1, 3.33). In the finale Sunday afternoon, it’s right Zack Grienke (8-4, 3.14) opposing former Diamondbacks’ right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (5-5, 4.61).

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Then, the St. Louis Cardinals roll in the desert for four, and the Rockies follow for three next weekend.