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Arizona Still Red Hot
Posted By Matthew Hesse On May 28 2011 @ 1:52 am In Arizona Diamondbacks | No Comments
The Arizona Diamondbacks have been on a roll since the middle of May.
First they finished off the Twins for a sweep to give them a 6 game win streak for the first time since 2008. Then it was time for a road trip against the 2nd place Colorado Rockies. Can’t miss, right?
The D’Backs lost the first game 12-4. Streak ended. Arizona would come crashing down and we would see the D’Backs of early April right? Absolutely not. The next three games the D’Backs went on a tear to finish off the Rockies and take second place away from Colorado.
Here are these Diamondbacks winning 12 of their last 14 games. No this is not the Philadelphia Phillies or the New York Yankees this is the Arizona Diamondbacks. The very same team everyone predicted to finish in the cellar of the NL West. Now these Diamondbacks are nipping at the heels of the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. The Giants who are reeling from an injury to star catcher Buster Posey so that NL West title is no longer a lock for San Francisco.
Next up the Diamondbacks travel to Houston for a weekend face off. The Astros jumped to a 6-0 lead early. It looked scary as the Diamondbacks fell back to Earth. That hot streak would come to a halt against the struggling Astros. Welcome to the life of a Diamondbacks baseball fan.
Juan Miranda came to the rescue with 2 two run home runs to bring the game within 2 runs. Not so fast the Diamondbacks are back! Then the Diamondbacks really got going in the 7th inning. Kelly Johnson singled to bring home Willie Bloomquist. Then with the bases loaded, down by one run Chris Young hit a short ground ball. That led to a scary collision at the plate with Ryan Roberts and Astros catcher Humberto Quintero, which brought in 2 runs to take the lead. Quintero was hit hard at the plate after slipping on the bat right before the collision and was helped off the field.
J.J. Putz came in to the game in the ninth to finish the job to record his 14th straight save.
That’s another 4 game win streak, 12 of their last 14, and 2nd place in the NL West. Fans went from just hoping these D’Backs didn’t lose 100 games to believing that these D’Backs could win the NL West with the way they are playing right now. Two months into the season and hope springs eternal.
How did Kirk Gibson do this? The D’Backs are a team with a few All Stars but no stellar names like Cliff Lee, Albert Pujols, or Derek Jeter. The very same team with one of the worst bullpens in baseball a year ago now sports one of the best bullpens in baseball. Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, and Joe Saunders are virtual ”no names” but they are just as hot as the Philadelphia Phillies Four Aces rotation. Gibson brought with him a positive attitude and confidence in the team with depth at almost every position. Are they perfect? No, but they have just enough to go the distance. They are the team that everyone can love because they are the perpetual underdog who will look like champions or beer leaguers from time to time. No matter what tear they go on this season everyone will wonder when they will fall apart from this hot streak.
Staying healthy and consistent will be the key to stay hot in a very competitive NL West. The season is far from over and the Diamondbacks will have to continue this hot streak they are on to stay competitive.
June will be the true test with series against the Marlins, Giants, Tigers, and the Indians. Oh my! If the D’Backs can get through June half as hot as May they can go the distance and showcase the NL West as one of the most interesting divisions in baseball.
Arizona will face Houston for game 2 Saturday with newcomer Zach Duke pitching for the D’Backs.
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