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Diamondbacks Sprinting to Finish with NL West Lead
Posted By Matthew Hesse On Aug 31 2011 @ 9:57 pm In Arizona Diamondbacks | No Comments
This entire season the Giants seemed to have that edge to keep them in first place. Then recently the Diamondbacks took the lead despite falling apart on their road trips to Philadelphia and Atlanta. Everyone assumed the NL West would be a divisional race up until the final game and possibly beyond.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, like they have all season, threw everyone for a loop with their 8 game winning streak. They took 3 of 4 against the Nationals, swept the Padres and are a win away from sweeping the Colorado Rockies.
The other piece of magic for the Diamondbacks is that the Giants can’t seem to buy a win lately. San Francisco went 11-18 in the month of August with 12 of those losses coming at home. The Diamondbacks keep winning while the Giants keep losing giving the Diamondbacks a perfect storm 6 game lead in the NL West. After this afternoon’s Giants win that lead was cut to 5.5. A win will push it back at 6 with the Diamondbacks heading to the Bay Area for their last visit to San Francisco this season.
Justin Upton eclipsed the 20-20 mark with 25 HR and 20 stolen bases. The Diamondbacks have a chance to see 3 players eclipse that mark. Chris Young has 19 HR and 19 SB while Ryan Roberts is close behind with 17 HR and 16 steals.
Since getting swept by the Braves Arizona has outscored their opponents 43-14 over the course of 9 games. They are averaging more than 4 runs a game and their pitching is solid. If the Diamondbacks keep playing like this they will not be stopped and will be crowned NL WEst Champions.
The media preaches that pitching wins championships. That is how the Giants won last year. Well, this year the Diamondbacks are coming through with both pitching and batting. Kirk Gibson has brought the team out with intensity every game. They have 3 separate 7 game win streaks this season.
The visit to San Francisco this weekend could really set the pace for the final month of the season. A sweep for the Diamondbacks puts the Giants in a corner but a sweep for the Giants makes this a race again.
New Players: Aaron Hill and John McDonald are new acquisitions from Toronto (in exchange for Kelly Johnson). On the surface this left a lot of people scratching their heads. Kelly Johnson had been on a cold streak but has 18 HR on the season. However, once everyone saw these two in action it is clear that the Diamondbacks see improved defense at second and shortstop. This helps plug the hole left after Stephen Drew’s injury. Wade Miley who struggled in his first start pitched a gem last night against Colorado going 6 innings and only allowing 2 runs against a potent Rockies offense.
Tonight Josh Collmenter will get the start for the final game against the Rockies.
Next week: Recap of the Giants series and a look at the prospects who will make a splash next season for Arizona.
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