The Arizona Diamondbacks are entering a stretch of games where they will play teams that have winning records, and most of these teams are either leading their division or they are within a couple of games of the division leader.
This started with them playing a doubleheader on Monday against the Texas Rangers, who have been one of the best teams in the AL this season. The series with the Rangers is the biggest test for Arizona as it would allow them to see how they stack up against better competition.
The Diamondbacks passed the test with flying colors, as they won both games of the doubleheader. They had top pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs on the mound for the first game. He was absolutely brilliant in his approach of attacking the Rangers offense. The key reason why he had success is that he kept the opposition off-balance with his knee-buckling curve ball.
Skaggs will go back to Reno after this start because he was only up due to Ian Kennedy suffering an injury, but he made quite an impression.
Arizona is flush with pitching prospects in their minor league system and with this outing, Skaggs established himself as one of the top left-handed pitching prospect in MLB.
The second game was all about Arizona engineering a comeback victory against one of the better pitching staffs in the AL. The hero of the nightcap was Cliff Pennington, who collected his second walk-off hit of the season for the snakes.
The Diamondbacks lead their division and have displayed that you don’t need superstars to be successful — just players that are willing to give maximum effort and play their heart out.