President Derrick Hall explains differences between 2016 and 2017 seasons

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 08: Chris Iannetta
PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 08: Chris Iannetta /

Arizona Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall explained that there are a key differences between this year and last.

A year ago in August, the Diamondbacks were 43-69 and eventually falling into fourth place in the National League West division. President and CEO Derrick Hall attributes the team’s current 65-52 second place record to multiple things.

"“I would say winning at home. I think that’s changed the entire clubhouse,” Hall said. “It’s not a doom and gloom, it’s a very happy celebratory clubhouse because we are playing so well here at home.”"

Unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to the team’s latest homestand. Against the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs in the last six games, the Diamondbacks are 2-4.

Four losses so far in an eight-game homestand would have been unconceivable in the first half of the season when the team was 33-15 at home.

The Diamondbacks haven’t won a homestand since they played ten games from June 23 to July 2.

As the team looks to game some momentum against the Houston Astros, Hall explained that the success they have had this season hasn’t been due to just one player.

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"“I heard it before the season started from our baseball operations staff and the analytics team… that the catcher’s we were going to bring in as a collective whole would really make a difference on this team,” Hall said. “You’ve seen it now with the pitching results, the connection they made with the pitcher’s, the pitch calling, the framing and also the offense collectively. The three of them have done some damage, so I think they have been the most pleasant surprise for me, they’ve been terrific.”"

Hall is speaking of the combination of Chris Iannetta, Jeff Mathis and Chris Herrmann.

The three catchers are on pace to out-homer 2016’s combination of Welington Castillo, Chris Herrmann and Tuffy Gosewisch. They’ll also score more runs, walk more, have more at-bats and strike out more often.

It’s hard to tell if the addition of Iannetta and Mathis is actually helping.

Regardless of the team’s performance, or lack thereof, Hall is focused on hosting the Wild Card in Phoenix come October.

"“We’re in the division with a division leader who’s been running away from everybody, so I think at this point everybody’s really focused on that Wild Card,” Hall said. “Anything can happen, but my expectations are that we remain competitive, we fight for that Wild Card spot. Hopefully that home spot, the number one spot in the Wild Card, so that that one game play in would be here at Chase Field, but there’s a long way to go and a lot of baseball to be played.”"

With 45 games left to play before Monday’s game, the Diamondbacks are 18 games back in the NL West, but holding on to a 4.5-game lead in the Wild Card. They are tied with the Colorado Rockies and ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals.

"“We’ve got to play good baseball to remain on top,” Hall said. “Because there’s a lot of teams now catching up and getting in the mix, especially those NL Central teams.”"

The Diamondbacks have 28 games left against other NL West teams, while 23 of their remaining 45 games will be against postseason contenders.