Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz entered the game in the ninth inning and shut down the Minnesota Twins offense recording his 12th save, securing a win and series sweep for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
I sat in my seat as the other fans began filtering out of the stadium making a few last moment notes about the game and soaking in the feeling. This home stand began with a loss to the San Diego Padres. At the time no one could have predicted that would be the only loss in seven games.
The Arizona Diamondbacks now had a six game winning streak and had won eight of the last nine games. Winning streaks such as this seemed commonplace not so long ago but marked the longest streak in the past three seasons.
It was hard not to be excited. The 2011 Diamondbacks are a lot of fun to watch. While they may not win every game it seems as though they never give up and rarely can you count them out. Manager Kirk Gibson’s managerial style is becoming evident. These players come to play and are willing to grind out every inning.
There are still several rough spots as witnessed by the five errors the Diamondbacks recorded in last night’s game. Despite the fielding problems the D-backs seemed to find a way to produce enough offense to stay close and ultimately win the game.
The starting pitching is still questionable and the bullpen is not nearly as bulletproof and you would like but they are light years ahead of the relievers from last year that sported the worst ERA in the major leagues.
There is no telling what a little success may bring to this team. They might actually beginning believing what Gibson is telling them and go on an extended streak of winning baseball and climb back into the National League West race.
With the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies both losing the Diamondbacks find themselves in third place and only a half game out of second and four games out of first place. By the time the team returns to Chase Field on May 30th they could be in contention for the division, something no one would have dared say for the past two seasons.
Maybe the rebuilding process is not as far off as baseball writers were predicting before the season started. Despite their record the 2011 Diamondbacks are fun to watch and are by far the best entertainment in town.