The D-Backs current four game slide isn’t a matter of overconfidence or lack of talent, it’s simply a matter of health. However, a losing streak can go from four to ten games pretty quickly and the Diamondbacks are in a position where they want to squash this skid quickly as their NL West opponents are surging.
After losing the two final games in the Pirates series, the reeling D-Backs were on the wrong side of two lopsided games to the Atlanta Braves. They managed only 6 singles in their 9-1 loss Friday night after managing 5 singles in a 10-2 loss on Thursday. Chris Young is leading the D-Backs with a .410 average and his loss is being felt heavily as the D-Backs have lost every game without Young. Perhaps affected by the lack of Young and Justin Upton in the lineup, Miguel Montero and Ryan Roberts have been to slump a little–at exactly the worst time.
While the offense has been off all year, the pitching had been excellent until the Braves series. However, with Upton and Young out of the lineup the pitching staff has also begun to falter at the worst p0ssible time. Injuries are a part of the game and while there is no doubt that the D-Backs have been dealt a terrible hand, these injuries appear to be relatively minor. If the Diamondbacks can at least tread water for a few weeks while they get healthy, they’ll still be in fine shape.
It’s important to keep in perspective what the D-Backs are going through right now with shortstop Stephen Drew already out, being joined by Upton and Young, the team is missing 3/8th of their every day position lineup–and by my preseason ranks, they’ve lost their #4, #3 and #1 best positional players. The losing streak now is nothing more now than a direct representation of this. The Diamondbacks know they’re shorthanded and they’re playing like it.
In order to stop this streak, someone needs to step up. Whether it’s Ian Kennedy pitching a shutout or Paul Goldschmidt knocking a three-run homer, someone needs take charge and prove that the Diamondbacks can win without their stars. The last thing they need is for the losing streak to extend beyond a handful of games because so far, the NL West–led by Los Angeles Dodgers–is looking far better than we thought it would be.