#TBT: Arizona Diamondbacks 12-game winning streak in 2003

DENVER - JUNE 30: Pinch hitter Matt Kata
DENVER - JUNE 30: Pinch hitter Matt Kata /

The 2017 Arizona Diamondbacks just won their 13th consecutive game passing a franchise record set in June 2003

The Arizona Diamondbacks are closing the gap on the Los Angeles Dodgers with their current 13-game winning streak drawing comparisons to the franchise’s 12-game winning streak back in 2003.

There are some familiar names you’d come across if you looked up the 12-game winning streak from 2003 including Luis Gonzalez, Steve Finley and Jose Valverde. One could argue that there are strong similarities between those names and the current roster.

But, the streak came much earlier in the 2003 season. The former record began on June 18 against the Houston Astros and ended on July 1 against the Colorado Rockies.

The 2003 Diamondbacks were in fourth place behind the surging San Francisco Giants who won 100 games that year. Sound familiar?

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When the 2003 streak started, the Diamondbacks were nine games behind the Giants. After the streak ended against the Colorado Rockies, the Diamondbacks were only four games back.

The Diamondbacks have currently closed the gap between them and the first-place Dodgers from a 21-game lead to a 10.5-game lead. They have swept the Dodgers twice in the current streak.

In 12 games, the Diamondbacks hit 15 home runs, four off the bat of Gonzalez, who also had three doubles and a triple.

Multiple players have contributed home runs in the current streak, but the most significant is probably J.D. Martinez’s  four-homer game on Labor Day.

Other top offensive contributors were Steve Finley, Matt Kata, Lyle Overbay and Chad Moeller.

Valverde earned a win and six saves, as well as closing two other games which weren’t save opportunities. He was just a rookie in 2003, but would eventually set the Diamondbacks franchise record for saves in a single-season (47) in 2007. Fernando Rodney has earned 36 so far in 2017, seven in the 13-game winning streak.

Randy Johnson didn’t start a single game in the 12-game winning streak as he was dealing with injuries that would sideline him from April until July in 2003.

A key difference included the starting pitchers only earning five wins for the team, while the bullpen earned the other seven. In the 2017 streak, the starting pitchers have contributed 12 of the 13 wins.

Don’t overlook the important of the rotation in 2003 though. During the streak, rookie Brandon Webb tossed his first ever complete game against the Detroit Tigers.

The scheduling was also significantly different due to the timing of the streak. In 2003, the Diamondbacks started their winning streak with two wins against the Houston Astros. Then, the team swept the Reds, the Astros and the Tigers.

As the Diamondbacks bring the 2017 winning streak back to Arizona, they will face the San Diego Padres in a three-game series, but the Rockies come to town on Monday.

In 2003, the Dodgers passed the Diamondbacks for the second spot in the N.L. West standings and the team finished in third place. Currently, the Diamondbacks hold a 7.5-game lead over the Rockies in the N.L. Wild Card.

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