The franchise has completely changed since its run of three playoff appearances in four years with a veteran-laden club, as this time the club's rebuilding plan has yielded a squad full of homegrown talent. The veteran D-backs won the 2001 World Series but were bounced out in the Division Series in 1999 and 2002.
By month: April 16-11, May 16-12, June 14-13, July 13-13, August 16-12, September 15-11.
Although the D-backs have streaked to five winning streaks of at least five games and three losing streaks of at least five contests, their consistency has come in never having a losing month. That helped Arizona stay at least within striking distance of the division lead all season before eventually taking the West.
Avg.: .251, 15th in NL
Runs: 712, 14th in NL
HRs: 171, 7th in NL
OPS: .735, 13th in NL
With an offense ranked near the bottom of the NL in many categories, the D-backs lived out their "Anyone, anytime" slogan by getting clutch hits from a number of different contributors. They won 90 games despite getting outscored by their opponents. That helped them earn the NL's best record despite an expected record based on run differential of 11 games off their actual pace.
Avg.: Orlando Hudson, .294
HRs: Chris Young, 32
RBIs: Eric Byrnes, 83
Runs: Byrnes, 103
OPS: Hudson, .817
SB: Byrnes, 50
Although the D-backs received contributions throughout their lineup, Byrnes emerged as the clear leader of the offense. He hit in the leadoff and cleanup spots based on club needs before settling into the No. 3 hole for much of the second half of the season, providing a potent blend of power and speed.
Overall ERA: 4.14, 4th in NL
Starters ERA: 4.25, 3rd in NL
Bullpen ERA: 3.92, 7th in NL
Strikeouts: 1082, 9th in NL
HRs allowed: 169, 8th in NL
Opponents BA: .262, 7th in NL
Arizona's starters kept the club in games all season long before a dominating back end of the bullpen preserved the leads. The D-backs bullpen ERA was inflated by some blowouts in which Arizona's long relievers struggled.
Wins: Brandon Webb, 18
ERA (starter): Webb, 3.01
ERA (reliever): Jose Valverde, 2.66
Strikeouts: Webb, 194
Saves: Jose Valverde, 47
Holds: Brandon Lyon, 35
HRs allowed: Livan Hernandez, 34
Opponents BA: Valverde, .196
Webb paced the starters all year, especially in a hot second half in which he won 10 of his final 12 decisions and had a franchise-record 42-inning scoreless streak. Valverde anchored a strong bullpen along with NL holds leaders Lyon and Tony Pena.
Fielding percentage: .983, 10th in NL
Errors: 105, 7th in NL
The D-backs played solid defense up the middle, with catcher Chris Snyder providing a reliable backstop, second baseman Hudson playing his usual sure-handed defense at second and Young covering lots of ground in center.
Chris Snyder, .999
Conor Jackson, .988
Snyder threw out 29 runners attempting to steal, the second-best total in the NL. He also handled the pitching staff capably, working particularly well with Webb and Doug Davis.
Game by game
July 20: Cubs 6, D-backs 2 -- Mike Fontenot, Cubs run past Webb
July 21: D-backs 3, Cubs 2 -- Drew's homer starts D-backs streak
July 22: D-backs 3, Cubs 0 -- Yusmeiro Petit pitches D-backs to win
Aug. 24: Cubs 6, D-backs 2 -- Arizona's offense sputters against Sean Marshall
Aug. 25: D-backs 3, Cubs 1 -- Davis outduels Ted Lilly
Aug. 26: D-backs 5, Cubs 4 -- Young's homers, bullpen lead to D-backs win
The D-backs took two of three against the Cubs in Phoenix and Chicago. Arizona entered its first series against the Cubs struggling, but the July 21 win on Drew's go-ahead homer sparked an eight-game winning streak that propelled the D-backs to the top of the West.
vs. Cubs: 4-2
vs. Padres: 10-8
vs. Rockies: 8-10
vs. Red Sox: 1-2
vs. Yankees: 0-3
vs. Angels: 0-0
vs. Indians: 0-0
The D-backs beat up on the Phillies and Cubs, struggled against the American League East playoff teams and played pretty even with their NL West rivals. Overall, Arizona finished two games under .500 against winning teams while taking care of business to the tune of being 20 games over .500 against losing teams.
Juan Cruz (4 G, 0-0, 7.71 ERA, 4 2/3 innings)
Tony Clark (.136, no homers, one RBI, 22 at-bats)
Eric Byrnes (.375, no homers, two RBIs, 16 at-bats)
Outside of 1997 World Series MVP Hernandez, the D-backs have virtually no playoff experience on their roster. Then again, that lack of experience did not hurt Arizona down the stretch.
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less