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Diamondbacks dominant during NL West takeover - Through The Fence Baseball

Diamondbacks dominant during NL West takeover

by Jules Tompkins | Posted on Tuesday, May 31st, 2011
| 832 baseball fanatics read this article

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson, right, has a lot to be happy about these days, including Kelly Johnson's torrid hitting. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Forgive my absence. If there was ever a time to be writing about the Diamonbacks, it has been the last two weeks, as they marched to the top of NL West.

My excuse: a state of shock. I cannot believe the way the team has been playing over the last two weeks.

If you didn’t already know, the D-backs have won 13 of their last 14 games. In those games, they’ve accrued a run differential of +33, an average of 6.2 runs per game, one six-game win streak, one seven-game win streak, two last-at-bat victories, and 17 home runs.

And if, like me, you thought the Florida Marlins would slow them down, you thought wrong. The D-backs obliterated the Fish last night, scoring 15 runs on 19 hits.

Kelly Johnson continued his hot streak at the plate — which features a .333/.368/.759 clip over the last 14 games –– going 4-for-5, with two home runs, and a single shy of the cycle. The D-backs second baseman has 15 RBIs, 13 runs, and five home runs in the team’s surge.

Miguel Montero had another huge night, knocking in five on three hits and a home run. He sports a .372/.438/.581 clip over the 14-game showcase, including 14 RBIs, 11 runs and two home runs.

And, if those Memorial Day plate numbers weren’t good enough for you to gawk at, take a peek at Justin Upton‘s night: 5-for-5 with three RBIs, three runs and a home run.

There was all of that, but the greatest part of the game, for me, was seeing Joe Saunders get his second win of the season. The southpaw has given his team six quality starts this season, but he failed to get a win until last week’s series in Colorado. (Saunders got his first win in a game that showcased an awesome caught-stealing call at home plate. After a Montero passed ball, speedster Dexter Fowler tried to swipe home, but the nimble — I kid — Saunders charged from 60.5 feet away and heroically collided with the baserunner, getting the out. To me, it was a portrayal of Saunders’ desperation for a W.)

More Notes on the 14-game Surge

  • Arizona has grabbed first in the NL West. They lead the Giants by half a game.
  • Micah Owings came back off of the disabled list and got a win versus the Rockies, giving up one run and four hits.
  • Zach Duke also came off of the disabled list, shutting out the Astros in seven innings on three hits and helping himself with a three-run homer at the plate.
  • Ryan Roberts stole home in an extra-innings victory versus the Braves.
  • Not only have the D-backs won 13 of their last 14 games, but they’ve also won 15 of their last 17.
  • In the last two weeks, the D-backs top the National League in every major offensive category (runs, hits, home runs, stolen bases, on-base percentage, slugging percentage) except for batting average, in which they are second, with a .292 team average.
  • Not to be forgotten, the D-backs pitching staff has the best record in baseball (13-1) over the last two weeks, with a 3.33 ERA.
  • The D-backs have even captured the attention of ESPN, a hard task for a west coast team.

Tuesday and Wednesday Pitching Probables vs. Marlins

Tuesday: Ian Kennedy (6-1, 3.01 ERA) v. Anibal Sanchez (4-1, 2.60 ERA)

Wednesday: Daniel Hudson (6.5, 4.13 ERA) v. Jaiver Vazquez (3-4, 6.02 ERA)

With a win tonight, the D-backs will have baseball’s best May record (20-9). They begin a four-game home series with the Nationals on Thursday.

Post By Jules Tompkins (9 Posts)

In Little League, I hit for the cycle and turned an unassisted triple play. Such diamond glory, however, didn't last long. So, now I write about the professionals who accomplish similar feats. (And those who don't; because, let's be honest, when's the last time you saw a guy get three outs in one play?) I cover the Diamondbacks from my stuffy, blistering-hot home office, which happens to be a mile from Chase Field. Follow me on Twitter at @TompkinsBall.

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