Sep 9, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson during his team's 8-2 loss to the Padres. Image: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Are the Arizona Diamondbacks Still in Playoff Contention?


Here it is September 12th and the Arizona Diamondbacks stand at 70-72, 20 games left in the season.  How many times must we ride the roller coaster of will they or won’t they make the playoffs?  I will frame it like this:  how many people wrote off the Brewers and Phillies two weeks ago?  Philadelphia is now 72-71, just 3 games back of the second Wild Card while Milwaukee is 71-71, 3.5 games out.  The optimistic among us can dream that the D-Backs are (a) just 4.5 games out and (b) can become the latest team to get hot.  Perhaps the previous two teams peaked a tad too soon while the Snakes, using last night’s 1-0 victory over the Dodgers as a springboard, begin a furious final push.

Look, I know the odds of Arizona getting into the playoffs are long.  They are extremely inconsistent.  How does a team own a club like the Dodgers yet is routinely blasted by the Padres?  I don’t mean to pick on San Diego because they have played great for most of the second half but they are still six games under .500. Really, when have the D-Backs gone on a major tear at all this season?  Outside of starting the year 5-1 and a five game winning streak in July, this team has been stunningly average.  This leads me to think that maybe, just maybe, we can get a 10-2 run over the next two weeks.  I understand that even with a stretch like that, the other five teams in front of them have to stumble.  Pittsburgh is free-falling and St. Louis just got swept by our pals in San Diego.  Another victory against LA this evening and suddenly, we have ourselves a race that just might include our boys from the desert.

As you probably figured out, I am an eternal optimist.  So, too apparantly is Manager Kirk Gibson.  Here is part of what Gibby said in a column written by Bob McManaman of azentral.com:  “With most people, the other (negative side) takes over. I understand that,”  he said. “I don’t choose to be that way. I would never give in. When I have to  concede, the numbers will take care of themselves.  But I’m not going to give in now.”  We should not expect Gibson to say anything to the contrary.  Media and fans can write off the team but under no circumstance can anyone from this organization do the same.  After all, who wants to pay attention to a team when someone from within it is ready to pack it in?  So let’s take a page from the Manager and give this team one, last great chance to extend their season into the middle of October.

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