Monday, May 23, 2011

Arizona Diamondbacks -Team of the Week (5/16-5/22)

In our first installment of team of the week, we are going with a struggling team who just got themselves back into their division and now sit at 23-23 and that team is the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Coming into the week the Diamondbacks were 5 games back of the 1st place Giants, and only a half game up on the last place Padres.  Well thats the team they ran into first for a quick two game series.  The Diamondbacks pitching hasn't been as bad as last year but they are still struggling and in the bottom half of the league in most stat categories.  In game one it was Armando Galarraga getting shelled for 8 runs (5 ER) and putting the D'Backs into a 5-0 hole after 2 innings, and eventually losing the game 8-4 to a team that isn't known for its offensive outbursts.  Galarraga was outrighted to Triple-A Reno. So at this point the Diamondbacks were sitting in last place in the NL West, but something got into this team and they got out of this funk.



Just a day later Daniel Hudson took the mound and went 7 strong innings allowing 1 run while striking out 6.  As a team the D'Backs had 11 hits including 4 doubles and cruised to a 6-1 win getting themselves out of the basement once again.  This was just the beginning of a great week of baseball ahead for the D'Backs.

Arizona coming off a win hosted the Braves, who at this point were one of the hottest teams in baseball and got an extra inning win after giving up a 1-run lead in the top of the 11th, Kelly Johnson and Justin Upton got back to back RBI singles off Braves rookie closer Craig Kimbrel to win the game.  Joe Saunders provided the team with 6 innings of 1 run ball.  In the finale of the 2-game series Braves sent Jair Jurrjens to the mound, arguably the toughest pitcher to hit this year and although the D'Backs only scored 2 runs, they got a great outting from Josh Collmenter allowing only 2 hits through 6 innings and the bullpen held on for a 2-1 win, their third in a row.

To finish off the week the 15-27 Twins came to town, and the Diamondbacks took advantage of playing the worst team in baseball as they swept them in a 3 game series.  However unlike the past few games, it was the offense and not the pitching that won them the first two games.  In game one after trailing 2-1 going into the 7th, Arizona started the inning with 4 straight hits, including a lead off home run by Stephen Drew to tie the game at 2, and Xavier Nady singled in Chris Young to take the lead, chasing Brian Duensing out of the game.  The inning was capped off by a 3-run double by Ryan Roberts giving the D'Backs a 6-2 lead going to the 8th.  After Aaron Heilman gave up a 2-run triple, the offense got those 2 runs right back with Miguel Montero and Kelly Johnson getting the RBI's.  After a scare in the 9th, Joe Paterson came on with the bases loaded and struck out Jason Kubel and got Justin Morneau to ground out, giving Ian Kennedy his 6th win of the year.  In game two in the bottom of the 8th trailing 6-3 the Diamondbacks had a great 6-run inning capped off by a grand slam by Kelly Johnson off Matt Capps and JJ Putz held on for the save to give Arizona a 9-6 win.  To finish off the sweep it was Daniel Hudson who started this win streak with another great performance going 8 innings only allowing 2 runs.  Once again the D'Backs won the game with a run in the bottom of the 7th with a sac fly by Ryan Roberts.

So the Arizona Diamonbacks go 6-1 for the week and showed a lot of heart fighting back to win games late and got great pitching when the team didn't hit, and got great hitting when the team didn't pitch well.  Arizona now sits at 23-23 in 3rd place just a half game back of the Rockies of 2nd place and 4 games behind the 1st place Giants. 


Notable Players
  • Daniel Hudson - 2-0, 15 IP, 16 H,  3 ER, 12 K's, 2 BB's
  • JJ Putz - 4 IP, 3 Saves, 1 hit, 0 runs, 5 K's
  • Miguel Montero - 7/19, 5 runs, 1 double, 3 RBI, 2 BB's
  • Juan Miranda - 9/18, 3 runs, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 5  RBI, 2 BB's
  • Kelly Johnson - 6/27, 3 runs, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 7 RBI
  • Ryan Roberts - 6/24, 4 runs, 1 double, 5 RBI, 5 BB's, 1 SB
  • Stephen Drew - 5/25, 3 runs, 2 doubles, 1 home run, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB
  • Chris Young - 6/26, 5 runs, 4 doubles, 1 home run, 2 RBI, 3 BB's
  • Justin Upton - 6/29, 4 runs, 1 double, 2 home runs, 4 RBI, 2 BB's
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