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Reviewing the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 13-game winning streak

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12/10, would watch again. What, you want more?

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It was epic, the likes of which have rarely been seen by Arizona fandom. The Suns have gone further, winning 17 straight in the 2006-07 season. But that’s about it: the Coyotes won nine regular season games in a row during their 2009-10 campaign, while the Cardinals’ best since they came to Arizona is seven consecutive wins, in 2015. For more than two weeks, the Diamondbacks did nothing but win - and for almost all of that time, they never trailed.

The hitting

The D-backs scored eighty runs over the streak, for an average of 6.15 per game. But they were far from evenly distributed: 30% came in just two games, when Arizona scored 13 and 11 runs: four of the victories were despite the team scoring three or fewer. As a whole, the team didn’t hit that well, batting .267. However, they did a very good job of getting on base (OBP = .345) and averaged almost two homers per game, hitting 25 over the streak. That gave them a slugging percentage of .494, and a solid overall OPS of .839. You won’t be surprised to hear that the offense was led by J.D. Martinez, who scored 15 of the 80 runs and drove in 14: here are the top batters.

  1. J.D. Martinez: 13-for-46, 8 HR, 14 RBI, 1.228 OPS
  2. Paul Goldschmidt: 10-for-32, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 1.171 OPS
  3. Daniel Descalso: 7-for-23, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 1.037 OPS
  4. Chris Iannetta: 9-for-29, 2 HR, 9 RBI, .996 OPS
  5. A.J. Pollock: 10-for-39, 3 HR, 10 RBI, .934 OPS
  6. Adam Rosales: 8-for-31, 3 HR, 5 RBI, .926 OPS

The pitching

The staff as a whole posted an ERA of 1.91, so certainly matched the hitters. They struck out almost three batters for every walk, posting a K:BB ratio of 127:43. A trio of our starters posted sub-one ERAs. Three of the wins went to Robbie Ray and Taijuan Walker; two apiece to Zack Greinke, Patrick Corbin and Zack Godley. The only not won by our starting pitcher was the extra-inning one against the Dodgers on Tuesday, started by Greinke, in which David Hernandez got the decision. Meanwhile, Fernando Rodney picked up saves in seven of the thirteen games, with Jimmie Sherfy picking up his first career save, in only his third appearance. Here are the leaders by ERA

  1. Taijuan Walker: 11 IP, 14:6 K:BB, 0.82 ERA, 2-0
  2. Patrick Corbin: 20.1 IP, 18:6 K:BB, 0.89 ERA, 3-0
  3. Robbie Ray: 19.1 IP, 33:4 K:BB, 0.93 ERA, 3-0
  4. Fernando Rodney: 9 IP, 8:3 K:BB, 1.00 ERA, 7 saves
  5. Zack Greinke: 19.2 IP, 16:3 K:BB, 1.83 ERA, 2-0

Other stuff

The Diamondbacks didn’t allow a single stolen-base during the winning streak, stopping all three attempts. There is still a streak going on there, for Arizona currently hasn’t given up an SB for the last 16 games, the second-longest run in franchise history (22, through August 22, 2012).

Patrick Corbin’s seven shutout innings on August 27 was the best pitching performance by Win Probability, being worth +39.2%. Martinez’s four-homer game in Los Angeles takes the honors on the hitting side, adding 27.1% to our chances.

There were 118 innings of baseball played during the streak. The Diamondbacks trailed after precisely three of them. Those were the 4th inning in the first game, against the Mets; the 2nd frame the following day against the Giants; and the first inning in the final game of the streak, in Los Angeles.

What was the best game?

The dominance mentioned above perhaps means that the excitement was more about the streak itself, than the individual contests. Arizona outscored its opponents by an average of more than four runs per game (80-27). But there were still some which will stick in the mind. Here are some possible contenders, along with a poll. Feel free to leave comments and make your case for any others.

  • Diamondbacks 3, Mets 2 - The rockiest moment over the 13 games: after Yoenis Cespedes gave New York the lead in the fourth, their WP was a streak-high 69.4%. But the D-backs battled back, and left the tying run on third in both 7th + 9th innings.
  • Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 7 - After scoring five off Rich Hill in the first frame, Arizona had to withstand a furious Los Angeles comeback. They pulled back to one run down after three, and Rodney also ended the game with the tying run in scoring position.
  • Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 8 - Perhaps the best all-round performance, the D-backs got to Kenta Maeda early, putting crooked numbers up in each of the first three frames. Meanwhile, Greinke became the first pitcher in the majors to reach 16 wins.
  • Diamondbacks 13, Dodgers 0 - A tense game became a laugher in the late innings, courtesy of Martinez, who became the first player ever to homer in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings, and the first D-backs with four home-runs in the same game.
  • Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 1 - A pitching duel between Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu saw each allow only one run. The bullpens took things into extras, but with the bases loaded, Justin Turner’s throw home skidded off Chris Herrmann and two runs scored.

Yeah, you’re probably noticing a bit of a theme in the above. :) But, it has to be said, there is nothing quite like beating the Dodgers. Unless it’s sweeping the Dodgers. Twice, in the space of nine days...

Poll

What was the best win of the streak?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    AZ 3, NYM 2: Coming from behind
    (1 vote)
  • 5%
    LA 6, AZ 7: The five-run first
    (2 votes)
  • 5%
    LA 1, AZ 8: Greinke first to 16
    (2 votes)
  • 84%
    AZ 13, LA 0: Martinez gonna Martinez
    (32 votes)
  • 2%
    AZ 3, LA 1: Edging it in extras
    (1 vote)
38 votes total Vote Now