The Arizona Diamondbacks have gotten off to an amazing start this year. Unfortunately, very few people were noticing, because the Suns were in the playoffs. With the Suns now out in the first round, all eyes in Phoenix will be on the DBacks for the foreseeable future. The DBacks finished April with the best record in all of baseball, and one of only a few teams to ever register 20 wins in April. At 20-8, the DBacks already have a 5 game lead in the NFC West.
What seems most noteworthy about this start to me, was something I noticed looking at their 8 losses. I couldn’t remember a loss that they had failed to score a decent number of runs in, so I looked into it more. Sure enough, the DBacks are averaging 4.25 runs scored in each of their losses. The fewest runs they have scored in any loss was 2. To beat the DBacks you must score 3 runs, and in all likelihood, you’ll need to score 5 runs or more. That’s simply amazing.
Also noteworthy is the hitting being done by their pitching staff. Pitchers are hitting .277! No wonder they are scoring so many runs. Micah Owings leads the DBack pitchers, hitting a torrid .421, including 1 home run (last night). Micah is simply a stud, and he’s now being used situationally by manager Bob Melvin as a pinch hitter.
Also impressive, is the start that Brandon Webb has had. He has 6 wins, a 1.98 ERA, and is pitching nearly 7 innings per start. He’s a true ace. He’s only hitting .167, but has driven in 4 runs to help his cause in several decisive situations. FYI, all of the starting pitchers (outside Micah
Then look at Chad Qualls. He has 15.2 innings pitched in 15 appearances for 0 earned runs. He’s also got 14 strike outs, while allowing just 6 hits so far. He’s nearly unhittable.
I predict Brandon Webb, Conor Jackson, and Orlando Hudson are sure fire locks to be on the all star roster, with Webby being the starting pitcher for the NL. Qualls should be on the roster, even though middle relievers rarely get in. Justin Upton has 5 home runs, and is hitting .327, making it difficult for him to miss the roster, even though he’s a rookie, if that pace keeps up.
Can the DBacks win the West? Absolutely. Can the DBacks win the NL? Again, I think they can and will. Will the DBacks win 100 games? I think they come up just shy. I predict they’ll win 98 games this season. A starting pitcher that is healthy today is going to get hurt, and we’ll lose some games due to injury, but overall, we are looking at a very strong, remarkable, hopefully memorable (flashbacks to 2001) team.