It sure has been one hell of a ride.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, who began the month of May 6.5 games out of first in the NL West, entered the month’s final day with a half game lead over the San Francisco Giants.
Winning — a lot — will do that for you.
Victorious in their last seven games, the D-backs show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, you could say they’re just getting started.
Take, for instance, second baseman Kelly Johnson. He’s hitting .444 during the streak, pounding out 12 hits in 27 at bats, including four home runs and eight RBI. He’s raised his average from .198 when the streak began to .224, and as a career .266 batter (who hit .284 last year) it seems he still has quite a few hits left in him.
Johnson’s resurgence has helped pave the way for the Diamondbacks offensive production to spike, as the team is hitting .287 over the last seven games, scoring 6.7 runs per game while knocking out 12 homers.
Hitting is nice, but what makes a team successful is pairing a productive offense with a stifling pitching staff. Not surprisingly, over the last seven games the D-backs have done just that.
In total the Diamondbacks have a 2.86 ERA, in large part because they’ve only surrendered four home runs over that stretch.
D-backs starters have earned wins in six of the seven games, two of which belong to Joe Saunders, who had no wins on the season until he got the streak started in the second game of the May 24th doubleheader in Colorado. Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Micah Owings and Zach Duke and Aaron Heilman account for the other five wins.
Of course, it’d be a crime not to mention the work the bullpen has put in.
Heilman, Kam Mickolio and Esmerling Vasquez have helped keep the Diamondbacks in ballgames, while J.J. Putz and David Hernandez have saved five of the seven wins.
An individual performance can win a single game, but as you can see it takes an entire team to win seven in a row. While the Diamondbacks are bound to lose again sometime (really, they’re not running the table from here), they are proving each and every game they are for real.