Diamondbacks' Atlanta series win reignites offense

Dominic Canzone crushes his first home run vs the Braves
Dominic Canzone crushes his first home run vs the Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Arizona Diamondbacks took a 2-1 series win against an NL-Leading Atlanta Braves club this week.

There's no mistake that the Diamondbacks' offense has been completely stagnant in the previous few series. Over the course of facing the Mets, Pirates and Blue Jays, offensive and defensive woes held the D-backs to a dismal 2-7 record over a 9-game span, with those 2 wins only coming against the Pirates at home.

Fans--and writers like myself--were less than optimistic about the direction the D-backs were headed in, and while the starting pitchers had done an overall decent job, the offense was nonexistent. Over the course of these miserable 9 games, the Diamondbacks scored an average of 3 runs per game, only passing that mark in 3 of those games.

Spirits were low, promoting little faith in the bats to even collect base hits, let alone score runners. That changed against Atlanta.

The Diamondbacks went on to score an astounding 16 runs in game 1, behind less-than-ideal pitching from Zach Davies and the bullpen. Tacking on an extra 10 in the final two games, the D-backs have almost matched their 9-game total in one series with 26.

The offense lit up Bryce Elder, who boasted a 2.97 ERA entering the matchup. The D-backs chased him off the mound after only 2.2 innings jumping out to a 2 run lead and racking up 7 hits on 76 pitches and knocking him for 7 runs (5 earned).

Rookie star Corbin Carroll, after going just 2 for his last 18, went 6-12, reached 3rd base on a wild pitch strikeout and launched a 104mph home run to right field over the course of the series. But what was even more encouraging was to see bats that had been extremely cold, such as Nick Ahmed, Emmanuel Rivera and Carson Kelly showing up again. The trio, in split playing time, managed to gather 6 base hits and 4 RBI after being consistent zeroes in previous weeks.

9 of the 10 batters that saw the field in game 1 collected a base hit, with 6 collecting an RBI. Christian Walker was a brilliant 3-5, with 2 home runs and 5 RBI, snapping his prior 4-45 skid. The same offense that couldn't buy a base hit in the previous 9 games began putting runners on--and scoring them--even with their backs against the wall. In game 2, 4 of the D-backs' 5 runs came with 2 outs, a clutch performance that the team had been sorely lacking.

It wasn't all negatives from the pitchers, either. Ryne Nelson delivered a 7-inning quality start and allowing the Diamondbacks to control game 2 all the way through. Nagging bullpen issues lingered, helping keep the Braves afloat in game one and costing the D-backs a sweep in game three. However, Kevin Ginkel shined in two tough saves, striking out the top of the Braves order and, at least for the moment, adding some stability and fire to the closer role.

The D-backs faced solid arms in Elder, Morton and Strider, and managed to bat each of them around for a grand total of 31 hits. Coming off of such a cold streak, being able to generate this much offense, especially against a club as tough as the Braves, is a huge boost to the morale and an auspicious trend for a schedule that will ease up a bit as the season progresses.

Every team will have its fair share of slumps, but the Diamondbacks went into a tough environment, faced a tough team, and willed themselves out of a cold offensive streak, winning two games and gaining back a little ground in the NL West race. The D-backs sit at 54-43, just 2 games behind the Dodgers, and will face the Reds in Cincinnati before coming home to face the Cardinals and Mariners.

Life is back in the team, and let's hope the fire stays lit.