Arizona Diamondbacks: Lack of recognition glaring

Fernando Rodney is one of the top closers in the game and one reason why the Diamondbacks are chasing the NL West title. Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Fernando Rodney is one of the top closers in the game and one reason why the Diamondbacks are chasing the NL West title. Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

From last season, the turnover for the Arizona Diamondbacks is telling. Coming into play Tuesday night, the Diamondbacks have the second best team in the National League (based on winning percentage), and the third best in all of baseball.

Will someone please tell that the Diamondbacks are for real. The website headlines on the sites Tuesday morning included the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger as the NL Player of the Week, the Dodgers’ bullpen as the bullpen of the week and even calling the Dodgers a “juggernaut.” The Diamondbacks are number three in the power rankings for ESPN, Bleacher Report, and FanRag Sports. Still, this team continues to fly under the radar.

Not only are the Diamondbacks currently 48-28 with a .632 wining percentage, but they’ve won 14 of their last 17 games. That was prior to Tuesday’s home game with the St. Louis Cardinals. Even attendance is up. The recent four game series against the Philadelphia Phillies this weekend had an average of just over 33,000.

The Diamondbacks also lead the National League in runs per game (6.29), OPS (.868), slugging percentage (.509) and extra-base hits (162) at home, according to the team’s twitter account.

Yet, critics are still saying that it won’t last.

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No one expects a 130 win season from the Diamondbacks. At this point in the season, and even sitting behind the NL West-leading Dodgers right now, the Diamondbacks have a 7.5 game lead in the Wild Card race.

Also at work here is the lack of national attention. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt is far behind in All-Star balloting as is third base Jake Lamb and shortstop Chris Owings. With one more count this Thursday, Goldschmdit is over half a million votes behind the Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman and Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo. It’s unlikely any of these three Diamondbacks’ players will make the NL starting lineup

It’s about time Goldschmidt and the Diamondbacks get the respect they are due.

Given a ten-game winning streak, an almost perfect bullpen and Bellinger, an unstoppable rookie at this point, there’s no doubt the Dodgers are on fire. Those raving about the Dodgers seem to forget one thing. The Dodgers haven’t gained a NLCS victory since 1988,. That’s despite winning the division for the last four years in a row. The last time the Dodgers won the World  Series was also in 1988. 

The Dodgers are notorious for failing to make a deep run in the playoffs. The Diamondbacks might not have the same illustrious history as the 134-year-old Dodgers’ franchise, but the stats (and the stars) seem to align for the team. Here at the end of June, the Diamondbacks  off to their best start in franchise history. The progress under manager Torey Lovullo is evident, and that’s since the 36-40 record they held this time last year.

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Going forward, the Diamondbacks face a serious challenge before the next month’s All-Star game. Next week, they’ll hit the road for a three game series against the Dodgers in Dodger Stadium and this series will likely test their growth.