Their 16-9 July is over, and the Diamondbacks are moving on. As Orlando Hudson said, “that’s long gone. You will never get yesterday back again.’’
It was the D-Backs’ second-best July in franchise history and got them back into the playoff race, when they moved from last to second in the NL West while gaining four games on division-leading San Diego.
The D-Backs’ offense was especially productive, with Luis Gonzalez (.389 batting average), Carlos Quentin (.381), Chris Snyder (.333), Johnny Estrada (.329), Jeff DaVanon (.328), Hudson (.323), Craig Counsell (.300), Eric Byrnes (.295) and Stephen Drew (.283) major contributors.
Gonzalez and Hudson each had 11-game hitting streaks in July, and Gonzalez led the major leagues with 16 doubles as the D-Backs led the NL with 65.
It was a stark reversal from an 8-20 June that included a 3-20 stretch, the worst
in the majors since Detroit opened the 2003 season 3-25.
“We believed in ourselves that we were the team that played the first two months of the season,’’ Byrnes said.
“We’d seen both ends of the spectrum. We had a decision to make. Which team were we going to be? We responded real well.’’ Gonzalez: “We’ve put ourselves in contention in both the division and the wild card. “We want the division title.’’
While there is no official timetable, shortstop Craig Counsell might be out until September, perhaps even the middle of September with the broken right rib he suffered while taking a swing July 14 against Milwaukee.
Counsell was given another X-ray this week, and while he continues on a rigorous rehabilitation program, the injury is at a point in his body that is acutely stressed when he twists or swings a bat.
The original prognosis was for a three-to-six-week recovery period, but a rib injury of his type typically requires six to eight weeks to recover, according to medical experts.
“He’s chomping at the bit,’’ manager Bob Melvin said.
A CHEESECAKE A DAY
Different table. Different waiter. But after Monday’s career-best power game, you had to know Hudson would take Gonzalez to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory the next day and order the same meal, too, a chicken dish.
Gonzalez, in fact, called it after Monday’s game, when he had two doubles and Hudson hit two home runs, including his first career grand slam, while driving in a career-high six runs in a 15-4 victory over the Cubs.
“That’s just us,’’ Hudson said of an athlete’s attempt to recreate a successful routine. “I’m sure basketball players and football players are the same.’’
Johnny Estrada was given another day off after leaving Monday’s game after three innings because of light-headedness and nausea brought on by excessive heat and humidity. . . .
Tony Pena has not given up a run in his last five outs, covering eight innings. His ERA dipped to 0.93 after a scoreless seventh inning Tuesday.