They are now 10.5 games out of first place. Their #2 pitcher has been missing since week two of the season. And if you read the comments by fans on mlb.com, their best player has been, ahem, lacking focus. It would be easy to completely dump on the Arizona Diamondbacks. I won’t do that, at least not now but I will say this: it is time for Diamondback fans to think of the Wild Card as the entry into the playoffs.
Let’s face it, the Los Angeles Dodgers will not be caught this season. Beginning last August 1st, the Dodgers are a robust 63-33 and barring a major injury, show no signs of slowing down. Actually, their best player, Matt Kemp, has been hurt missing seven games so far and the team has thrived without him. In fact, LA should only get stronger as ownership has been stabilized and will make the necessary improvements to make sure the team remains in first place. With Arizona’s bullpen already overworked, it would seem impossible the D-Backs will be able to repeat as National League West Champions.
This is not to say 2012 is lost for Arizona. As we have seen time and again, deficits like these, particularly at this point of the season, are not insurmountable for teams who make a Wild Card run. There is still too much talent and too many players that will be heard from in the second half of the season. One of those players might be Trevor Bauer who could get a call to the Majors in order to alleviate the tremendous burden on the relief pitchers. And unless the team totally collapses, I would think GM Kevin Towers as a deal or two in him to help the team make it to October baseball.
Hang tight, fans. No one said it was easy to follow the day to day grind of a baseball team. Forget about winning the division as the route to the postseason will be through the Wild Card. After that, dream those big World Series dreams.
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