The numbers may have looked a little odd last week, as the Diamondbacks were among the league leaders in home runs and runs scored, but were near the bottom of the National League West. Unfortunately, most of us are aware that the number of blown saves offset those numbers just a bit. This week, the stars and numbers seemed to be in alignment as the D-backs won four of five to bring them back to above .500 baseball. The team’s success can be attributed to the excellent run support that they have been generating in addition to some better relief.
The relief staff seems to be getting better and has had its moments of uncertainty where the pitching loses a solid lead, but this team is not like last year’s. The offense has been able to bounce back more often than not with additional runs throughout the game. Just a week ago, analysts were talking about the lack of runs scored in the later innings. This doesn’t seem to be a topic of concern for the team, as the Diamondbacks have been pummeling opposing pitching throughout the games.
In a challenging home stand against the Phillies, the D-backs were able to win two of the three games in the series and did the same against the Rockies. Winning match-ups against the defending National League Champion and the NL West Wild Card teams should definitely help boost some confidence. Additionally, the team beat the Cubs in the first of a five-game series in Chicago. The Cubs began the season playing good baseball and were among the favorites to lead the National League Central. The Chicago series will continue through the weekend.
Kelly Johnson and Mark Reynolds are among the current league leaders in home runs and RBI. Chris Young and Adam LaRoche also accompany their teammates in the RBI leader category, as the team leads the league in home runs, RBI and slugging percentage. Reynolds, who had an outstanding week last week, was named the Player of the Week for the National League. Johnson already is hitting better than he did last season, boasting more homers and RBI than he did in all of 2009. There is no doubt that the team has some power as they hope to stay on top of their game.
After the weekend, the D-backs will continue their road trip, heading to Houston to face the Astros for four games before returning to Phoenix. Winning games on the road is huge for any team, but winning games at home is just as important. Plan early to get out to Chase Field, as the D-backs will have a six-game home stand upon their return.
Last week’s games
04/23 — D-backs 7, Phillies 4
04/24 — Phillies 3, D-backs 2
04/25 — D-backs 8, Phillies 6
04/26 — D-backs 5, Rockies 3
04/27 — Rockies 12, D-backs 1
04/28 — D-backs 12, Rockies 11 (10 innings)
04/29 — D-backs 13, Cubs 5
This week’s games
04/30 — D-backs @ Cubs, 11:20 a.m., Fox Sports Arizona/MLB Network
05/01 — D-backs @ Cubs, 10:05 a.m., Fox Sports Arizona
05/02 — D-backs @ Cubs, 11:20 a.m., Fox Sports Arizona
05/03 — D-backs @ Astros, 5:05 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
05/04 — D-backs @ Astros, 5:05 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
05/05 — D-backs @ Astros, 5:05 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
05/06 — D-backs @ Astros, 5:05 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona