Tidbits and Trivia from a Historic May

Through the first part of May the Arizona Diamondbacks that looked destined to deliver a third consecutive sub-par season that would end in the cellar of the National League Western Division. The team exhibited brief moments of excellent play hampered by inconsistency.

The low point occurred during a road trip through San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles where the Diamondbacks dropped two games to the Padres, were swept by the Giants and lost the first game to the Dodgers. Watching those games for very long resulted in a queasy stomach and a case of vertigo.

The most frustrating part of that road trip was the fact that the Diamondbacks dropped six games all by one run. It was like success was just beyond the grasp of the team and its fans. No matter how hard the team tried something always happened that left them on the outside looking in.

But there in sunny southern California the Diamondbacks sent rookie Josh Collmenter to the mound for his first major league start and suddenly it was like someone switched on the light switch. Arizona would win that game and come back the next day to take another game from the Dodgers.

They returned home with a two-game winning streak and after dropping the first of a two-game series with the Padres they pieced together a six game winning streak that included sweeps of the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins.

The following road trip would see them go 6-1 with series wins against the Colorado Rockies and the Houston Astros. Arriving home the Diamondbacks would manhandle the Florida Marlins in the first game before dropping the second game in the series.

What began as a depressing month with the team 6 ½ games out of first place teetering on falling into last place ended with the Diamondbacks leading the National League Western Division by a half a game.

The month was filled with interesting pieces of trivia and factoids. According to the Elias Sports Bureau it is the first time in the history of league or division play where a team has come from that far back to take sole possession of first place. Arizona also became the only team this season to lose six consecutive games and win six consecutive games.

After the 2006 season the Arizona Diamondbacks changed their color scheme from Purple and Teal to Sedona Red, Sonoran Sand, and Black. In May the Diamondbacks recorded their 100th victory wearing their home White Jersey. They then went on to record their 100th victory while wearing their alternate Sedona Red Jersey and finally during the series in Houston recorded their 100th victory in the road Gray Jersey.

Since the color change the Diamondbacks have winning records while wearing the alternate home Black Jersey (.561 winning percentage), and the home White Jersey (.582 winning percentage). They have the worst record when wearing the alternate Sedona Red Jersey on the road (.414 winning percentage) followed by the road Gray Jersey (.416 winning percentage).

The Sedona Red jersey is the only uniform that is worn both at home and on the road. It should be noted that when the Diamondbacks wear Sedona Red at home they have gone 54-61 for a .470 winning percentage. Overall the Diamondbacks are 100-126 in Sedona Red for a .442 winning percentage.

The standings of June 1st are usually a good barometer of the post season. Nearly 1/3 of the time teams in first place go on to make the play-offs. Given the Diamondbacks sudden meteoric rise from the ashes few if any are predicting Arizona to continue to play such caliber of ball to sustain a play-off run. But after the way this team has played the last two weeks everyone is hesitant to suggest that the Diamondbacks have no chance of winning.

If May has proven anything it is that you never can tell what will happen in baseball. We may look back at the past month as a high-water mark of the season or it could be the turning point that awakened the talent on the Arizona roster and catapulted them into a team contending for a spot in the World Series.

For the next four months I plan on being at Chase Field watching each game. We could be witnessing history and I’d hate to miss even a single pitch.


2 Comments

  1. James M.

    First, a clarification is in order.
    “According to the Elias Sports Bureau it is the first time in the history of league or division play where a team has come from that far back to take sole possession of first place.”
    The version I read had a qualification attached at the end: “…in the month of May.” Still quite an achievement, but not nearly as historic.
    More historic was the Collmenter win that got everything started. Not only did he win his first major league start but he did it despite his team coming up with only one hit. As I recall, the Dodgers hadn’t lost a game like that in 97 years.
    Finally, after they lost 6 straight one run games, Gibby said the D’backs could win the next 6. Since then they are 7-0 in one run games.

    • Those darn asterisks. You are of course correct, the Elias Sports Bureau meant no team had come back from 6 1/2 games in May. The Collmenter win was amazing as is the fact that they are winning so many one-run games. After last night’s come from behind victory the Diamondbacks have done that 17 times this season, the most in the major leagues.

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