The Arizona Diamondbacks have been one of the hottest teams in Major League Baseball. Up until this past weekend, they had not lost a series. Even after being swept by the Washington Nationals, they are still one of the hottest teams in baseball. They currently sit atop the NL West with a record of 24-16.
The pitching staff has been one key factor that has fueled the success as they have posted an ERA of 3.16, second only to the Houston Astros 2.49 ERA. Patrick Corbin, who is 4-0 with a 2.12 ERA and has 67 strikeouts, has been their ace. Zack Greinke, Zack Godley, and Matt Koch, who has filled in nicely due to the injuries to Taijuan Walker and Robbie Ray, have been productive to help with the early success the D-backs have achieved.
The bullpen has been huge too Yoshihisa Hirano has a 2.50 ERA and 17 strikeouts while Archie Bradley has been one of the best set up men in baseball over the last two years. This year Bradley has posted a 2.05 ERA with 19 strikeouts and 13 holds. Brad Boxberger, who the D-backs aquired in offseason, has been solid in back of the pen as he has posted a 2.12 ERA with 22 strikeouts and 11 saves.
Something else that makes this run by Arizona impressive is that they their best player has struggled offensively and injuries have inhibited them from showing us how good they really are. Paul Goldschmidt is currently batting .210 with four home runs and 12 runs batted in. Jake Lamb, a big contributor from the 93-win team last season, has missed significant time due to a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder. Steven Souza Jr. missed a month of the season after straining his right pectoral muscle diving for a ball in the outfield during spring training.
Even with all of the injuries and Goldy’s struggles, the offense still seems to be clicking thanks in most part to center fielder A.J. Pollock who is having a MVP type season early on. He is batting .301 with 11 home runs and 33 RBIs. Outfielder David Peralta is off to a hot start as well batting .296 with seven home runs and 21 RBIs. Super utility player Daniel Descalso has been huge this year, mainly filling in for Lamb at third, as he has been coming up clutch hitting .265 with four home runs and 19 RBIs.
The Diamondbacks have played in 13 series to start season winning 10 of them, tying in two of them, and losing only one. They currently hold a 2.5 game lead over the Colorado Rockies for the division lead. Should this come as a surprise? It should not as this is the same team that turned a 63-win season in 2016 into a 93-win team in 2017 with a few minor changes to the roster. They have a talented roster from top-to-bottom and manager Torey Lovullo has this ball club moving in the right direction.
Look for the D-backs to keep pushing forward while getting players healthy and may even make a move a two down the line to help the roster. The D-backs will be in the thick of the divisional title race all the way until the end of the season and will be a threat in the National League Playoffs if they continue to keep playing at the high level they are currently playing at.