PHOENIX – The Arizona Diamondbacks are the talk of Major League Baseball as nobody thought they were capable of playing this well.
However, the question is, can they keep it up?
“We’re over a quarter of the season in and at this point to still have momentum and belief in themselves, I do believe it’s sustainable,” said team president and CEO Derrick Hall on the Sports 620 KTAR’s Doug and Wolf show on Friday.
Arizona at 27-24 sits only a game and a half back of division leader San Francisco.
“This team has a lot of confidence right now and believes in itself and that they’re never out of it,” said Hall.
Arizona made a prophet out of Hall Friday night with an improbably come-from-behind 7-6 win after trailing 6-0.
Hall points to the team’s improved pitching, from the starting rotation to the bullpen, as the main reasons for the turnaround.
Arizona now has a solid duo in the rotation in Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson that the team hasn’t had since Brandon Webb and Dan Haren.
“It’s fun to watch Kennedy and Hudson feeding off one another,” said Hall.
However, Hall specifically points to the addition of closer J.J. Putz as the main reason for the team’s improvement.
“J.J.(Putz) has been exactly what we thought he would be.”
“What did this team lack last year? We lacked a lot of heart, but also we lacked veteran presence and an effective bullpen. When you bring in someone who is a veteran and is a strong believer in your bullpen, like it is, you kill two birds with one stone and he is fearless, no doubt,” said Hall.
Hall is beginning to see a correlation from this year’s team to the 2007 version of the D-backs that went all the way to the NLCS.
“It’s one of those seasons, similar to 2007, where everybody pitches in,” said Hall.
The team president is glad to see the community start to get excited about the team as crowds at Chase Field have started to increase.
“The fans believe in this team again, which is wonderful. We haven’t had that feeling in really three years,” said Hall.
Despite winning 12 of their last 14 games, Hall and manager Kirk Gibson know the team still has a long ways to go.
“We can’t get too excited or carried away. We still have a lot of work to do,” said Hall.