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Arizona Diamondbacks 2017 Season Review: April

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PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 02: Chris Owings #16 of the Arizona Diamondbacks is congratulated by Chris Herrmann #10, Jake Lamb #22, Paul Goldschmidt #44 and Yasmany Tomas #24 afte Owings hit the game winning RBI single against the San Francisco Giants during the ninth inning of the MLB opening day game at Chase Field on April 2, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 02: Chris Owings #16 of the Arizona Diamondbacks is congratulated by Chris Herrmann #10, Jake Lamb #22, Paul Goldschmidt #44 and Yasmany Tomas #24 afte Owings hit the game winning RBI single against the San Francisco Giants during the ninth inning of the MLB opening day game at Chase Field on April 2, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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With the 2017 season in the books for the Arizona Diamondbacks, it is time to reflect on the 162-game thrill ride that is a major league baseball season

The 2017 version of the Arizona Diamondbacks ended sooner than we wanted, but what a season it was. A 24-win improvement translated into the franchise’s sixth 90-plus win season.

The D-backs finished 52-29 at home and 41-40 on the road. By division, Arizona went 45-31 against the NL West, 17-16 against the NL Central and 19-14 against the NL East. After posting a 5-15 record in interleague play in 2016, the D-backs went 12-8 against AL opponents in 2017.

Arizona has made six appearances in the postseason in 20 seasons (30 percent), the second highest percentage in baseball history behind the New York Yankees. The Los Angeles Dodgers swept the Snakes in three games, but a disappointing finish should not take anything away from what the Diamondbacks did in the Wild Card game and during the regular season.

Venom Strikes is looking back at each month of the season. Make sure you check back for our look at May, June, July, August and September.

General Overview

April 2017 will be remembered for setting the tone. At least I knew this season was going to be special after the opening homestand against the San Francisco Giants and Cleveland Indians.

The D-backs trailed three times in the season’s first game, but Chris Owings delivered a walk-off single off newly acquired closer Mark Melancon and the D-backs were off and running. It was the first walk-off triumph on opening day in franchise history.

Arizona would go on to start the season with its first 4-game series victory against the divisional rival Giants at Chase Field since Sept. 15-18, 2008. But the Diamondbacks established itself as a contender when they swept the defending AL-champion Indians and finished the first seven games 6-1.

After getting off to a horrible start in 2016, the D-backs finished the first month of 2017 16-11 (12-5 at Chase Field and 4-6 on the road). Not only did the Snakes set the tone for a turnaround season, manager Torey Lovullo‘s ballclub established Chase Field as “Our House.”

Team Stats (NL Rankings)

32 stolen bases (1st)

.269 average (2nd)

5.22 runs per game (2nd)

141 runs scored (2nd0

253 hits (2nd)

8 triples (T-2nd)

.770 OPS (3rd)

50 doubles (T-3rd)

.332 OBP (4th)

.438 slugging percentage (5th)

315 pitching strikeouts (2nd)

3.96 ERA (4th)

Highlights

April 4 – Archie Bradley strikes out seven over 3.1 innings in first relief appearance

Bradley’s seven relief strikeouts tied for the third most in team history. Randy Johnson came out of the pen to strike out 16 Padres on July 18, 2001 in San Diego.

April 5 – D-backs come back from three-run deficit against the Giants again

Before the D-backs, no team had two comeback wins from 3-plus runs down in a series against the Giants since the Nationals accomplished the feat in July 2012.

April 5 – Paul Goldschmidt steals career base No. 100

Goldschmidt joined the 100/100 club as part of a double-steal with Chris Owings in the fifth inning against Matt Moore.

He became one of five first baseman in baseball history to hit 100 career home runs and steal 100 bases joining Jeff Bagwell, Andres Galarraga, Derrek Lee and Dan Driessen.

April 9 – Jeremy Hazelbaker reaches base in first eight plate appearances to begin season 

Hazelbaker had six hits and two walks to begin the season. He became the first major league player to accomplish the feat since Ramon Hernandez of the Baltimore Orioles did the same thing to start the 2006 season.

April 17 – A combined eight hits from one and two spots in the lineup 

A.J. Pollock and David Peralta each had four hits from the leadoff and second hole spots respectively on April 17 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. This marked the first time the D-backs No.1-2 hitters each had four hits in a 9-inning game and the first overall since June 24, 2014 in a 14-inning, 9-8 win against the Indians.

April 17 – Robbie Ray strikes out six consecutive batters 

Ray’s performance that day was 1 strikeout shy of the club record set by “The Big Unit” on three separate occasions and Curt Schilling on July 21, 2001 at the Giants.

April 19 – Radio voice Greg Schulte calls his 3,000th D-backs game

Schulte’s 3,000th game came at Petco Park in San Diego.

April 21 – D-backs score nine runs in the eighth inning 

The D-backs scored 9-plus runs in the ninth inning for the sixth time in team history. Arizona was the second team this season to score 9 or more runs in an inning without hitting a home run. The Philadelphia Phillies scored 12 runs in the first inning against the Washington Nationals on April 8.

April 22 – Peralta sets doubles record 

Peralta set a franchise record with four doubles in one game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

April 21-26 – Goldy an RBI machine

Goldschmidt recorded multiple RBI in five straight games in which he had an at-bat. He was the third NL player since 2014 to accomplish that feat.

Goldschmidt also reached base safely in nine consecutive plate apperances from April 25-26, which matched a club record.

April 27 – Taijuan Walker joins elite company 

Walker tied a career high with 11 strikeouts. He became the first D-backs pitcher to strikeout out 11-plus with no walks and go eight innings or more since Randy Johnson on Sept. 15, 2004.

April 29 – Lambo shot 

Jake Lamb blast tied for the fifth longest in Chase Field history.

April 30 – Going Swimming 

Daniel Descalso‘s home run was only the second ever to land in the Ram Trucks Pool and was the fourth walk-off home run on an 0-2 pitch in team history.

 Hitting Stars (NL Rankings)

Paul Goldschmidt – .462 OBP (6th), 21 R (6th), 7 doubles (T-10th), 22 BB (T-1st), 7 SB (T-3rd)

A.J. Pollock – 19 runs (T-9th), 34 hits (6th), 9 doubles (T-3rd), 10 SB (T-1st).

Pitching Stars (NL Rankings)

Patrick Corbin – 2.29 ERA (T-7th)

Zack Greinke – 36.2 IP (1st), 40 strikeouts (T-2nd)

Robbie Ray – 39 strikeouts (T-4th), .220 opponents average (T-11th)

"Arizona Diamondbacks: 14 players eligible for salary arbitration in 2018"

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