As I watched my beloved Arizona Diamondbacks (64-65) pick up their fourth straight loss tonight against the Cincinnati Reds, I couldn’t help but express my frustrations at the way this season has unfolded.
A season ago, the team was riding high into September in the thick of the NL West race with the San Francisco Giants, and showed a lot of fight on a day-to-day basis. The team was really feisty, good at battling in on-run games, and comfortable playing from behind as the team knew that they had a shot to win at any point of the game regardless of what the score was. We had a reliable pitching staff, a shut down bullpen, and an “Anybody, Anytime” kind of offense.
Oh, what a difference a season makes.
Unlike last season, this season has been anything but a model of consistency. The team does not have a definitive ace (as Ian Kennedy has regressed considerably), the face of the franchise (Justin Upton) looks to be on his way out, and the team cannot compete in one-run games. Aside from the obvious problems, anytime the team looks to pick up a couple wins in a row, they follow by losing a similar amount of games in a row. There is no killer instinct in this team, and any type of lead is not safe.
If anything is for certain, the only thing Arizona is consistent at is being inconsistent. We need some veteran leaders in the clubhouse to step up and light a fire under these youngsters. We all know that Gibby (manager Kirk Gibson) has a very feisty personality and has done a great job of leading this team in the right direction, but at some point the players need to take ownership of their performance and take it upon themselves to hold each other accountable.