Like a dragonfly emerges from an ugly aquatic creature, the Arizona Diamondbacks shed their skin to reveal a new and powerful offensive juggernaut that lifted them to a series sweep over the Padres and two wins out of three games against the Rockies.
After a glacially-slow offensive start, Arizona seems to have finally broken out of their shell. During their three-game series against the Colorado Rockies on Aug. 10-12, they scored 32 runs before coming home to Chase Field and plating another 17 runs during their third series with San Diego, winning all three games against a team who they had struggled against earlier in the season.
Winning five out of their last six games has brought the D-backs within 4.5 games of first place in the NL West and brings them to .500 for the first time this season. Only time will tell if they can keep the streak going with the torrid pace of play the pandemic-shortened season has created. The last day of August will be the team’s next day off, followed by another two weeks with no breaks. Fatigue could be the defining factor of how long Arizona’s offensive breakout continues.
Ketel Marte, David Peralta, and Starling Marte are all batting over .300 and continue to be the D-backs most consistent batters. Although, Kole Calhoun has recently begun making a name for himself with D-backs fans as he has managed to blast six of the team’s 18 total home runs this season. The Diamondbacks are not known to be a power hitting team, but Calhoun may be shaping up to be the kind of player who has the ability to rally all the bases home in crucial plays which is vital to any team’s success.
The Diamondbacks recent success can be credited to the effective management style of fourth-year manager Torey Lovullo. Lovullo commented on DbacksPressbox.com after they swept the series against the Padres about how he has had to change his “contact” management style because of the pandemic affected conditions.
“The unusual part is that you don’t even make contact with anybody during the course of the day when something goes great. I’m a big pat on the back guy and I like contact. I think there’s a connection that you can draw from being near someone and putting your hand on them and showing support.”
Now that the team has flexed their offensive muscles, the primary concern among D-backs fans likely becomes pitching. The loss of Madison Bumgarner has been softened by other pitchers, most notably, Merill Kelly, stepping up on the mound to help lead the D-backs on their current win streak.
Kelly has filled the much-needed role of “Ace” for the D-backs as Bumgarner’s performance to this point has hardly reflected that title. Kelly’s three wins and 1.71 ERA currently lead the team.
The D-backs continued their winning ways on Monday, as they played host to the Oakland Athletics, beating the visiting A’s 4-3 in the first game of a four-game series which will be split between Arizona and Oakland.