Gibson & D’Backs make a little history

Arizona Diamondbacks

Image via Wikipedia

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with bonus “SIX STATS…” posted every Friday.

With apologies to Milwaukee Brewers fans, Arizona’s Kirk Gibson will likely be selected the National League Manager of the Year when awards are handed out. Milwaukee’s Ron Roenicke did a fabulous job in his first season with the Brew Crew leading them to a N.L. Central Division title, but Gibson’s D’Backs made significant strides in his first full year at the helm. Consider:

* The D’Backs became the fifth team in major league history to make the playoffs after multiple 90-loss seasons (Arizona lost 92 in 2009 and 97 in 2010). The last team prior to Arizona to accomplish this feat were the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008; they made the playoffs after ten straight seasons of 90 losses or more, the major league record. The other three teams: Detroit in 2006 after five straight 90-loss seasons; Atlanta in 1991 after four straight 90-loss season; and the first team to accomplish this feat, the 1967 Boston Red Sox, who had three straight 90 or more loss seasons before making the playoffs in ’67. Four current teams are hoping they can replicate Arizona’s turnaround from this year… Pittsburgh has now had seven straight 90-loss seasons; Baltimore has had six, Kansas City has had three; Seattle had their second straight 90-loss season in 2011.

* Arizona made the largest win gain of the 30 big league teams from 2010 to 2011. The D’Backs won 94 games in 2011, 29 more than the 65 they won in 2010. Here’s a look at the biggest gainers and the biggest losers in terms of wins from 2010 to 2011:

Biggest gainers in wins: Arizona +29; Milwaukee +19; Pittsburgh +15; Detroit +14; Cleveland +11; Washington +11

Biggest drops in wins: Minnesota -31; Houston -20; San Diego -19; Cincinnati -12; Colorado -10

WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG FOR A TRIVIA QUESTION: The Arizona Diamondbacks won the World Series in 2001. Who was their manager that season? Answer at the end of the blog.

Did you know? The Philadelphia Phillies not only won 102 games this season (the only team with 100+ wins) but they also increased their win total for the fifth straight season. In 2006 the Phils had 85 wins; they have increased their win total each year to 89, 92, 93, 97, and 102 this past season. This is the longest active win increase streak in baseball. Texas has increased their win total in four straight seasons (75, 79, 87, 90 and 96 in 2011). On the down side are the Chicago Cubs; they  have gone from 97 wins in 2008 to 83, 75 and 71 (in 2011).

TRIVA ANSWER: Bob Brenly was the Arizona skipper in their 2001 World Series winning season.

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