"“We had a terrible homestand, we scored 13 runs in our last six games…Everyone’s searching, and the more you search the tougher it gets at times…Guys are frustrated.”"
This about sums up the thoughts of all fans after the Diamondbacks finished their 10 game homestand with a deflating 2-8 record. But are these the quotes of fans around the park? Nope, these are the words from manager Kirk Gibson who is surely disappointed, discouraged, and maybe even a little panicky. The uninspiring play of the young Dbacks club all but mathematically eliminated them from playoff contention. They now sit 9.5 games back in the division and 7.5 back from the final wild card spot with thirty-one games remaining.
Record Notes: The Dbacks suffered their second consecutive sweep with their loss Wednesday to the Reds- the first time this season they’ve been swept in back to back series. They have now suffered losing streaks of at least five games on four occasions this season. Their current six game skid matches their season high losing streak from June 30- July 5th. It is the first time since 2004 that the Dbacks finished a ten game homestand 2-8.
*Their overall record has slipped to 64-67 and they now sport a losing record at Chase Field at 33-34.
*With their 3-2 loss on Monday the club dropped their record to 10-20 in one run games. Only the Blue Jays have fared worse in such games at 9-20. This is an area where the Dbacks were very fortunate to be on the winning end last season and even if the Dbacks were just .500 in these games it would put them over the .500 mark and within striking distance of a playoff spot.
GOOD: If you were to look at the three left handed rookies’ final line you would say they fared pretty well against the high octane Reds offense as each of them gave up three or fewer earned runs and two of the three lasted into the seventh. And they did really; they put their team in a position to win each game assuming the offense could plate more than two runs a game- which they couldn’t. However, each starter had his own hiccup at some point that tarnished an otherwise great start.
*On Monday Tyler Skaggs rushed a throw to first on a ‘come-backer’ that Goldschmidt misplayed allowing a two out run and he would surrender the go ahead and eventual game winning homerun to the pitcher Bronson Arroyo in the sixth.
*On Tuesday Wade Miley ran into trouble in the first and second accumulating 54 pitches while surrendering all three of his earned runs. The second inning included a 15 pitch walk to Scott Rolen and a bases loaded wild pitch that scored a run. But Miley battled and shut down the Reds the rest of the way completing seven innings of work.
*Wednesday’s game sent Patrick Corbin to the hill who put up goose-eggs through six innings. After retiring Joey Votto to start the seventh things unraveled as the rookie gave up two homeruns and the lead in the blink of an eye. It was Corbin’s 8th and 9th homeruns allowed in just 75.1 innings pitched.
*Brad Ziegler continued his stretch of quality appearances with 1 1/3 innings pitched without allowing a run against the Reds. He’s now held his opponents scoreless in eleven of his last twelve appearances allowing just two earned runs in 10 1/3 innings.
BAD: RISP. Admittedly, this team isn’t really getting many opportunities to drive in runs with runners in scoring position, but they sure aren’t taking advantage of these chances when they arise. The team finished just 2 for 12 against the Reds and is now 4 for their last 27 during their six game losing streak.
*Bullpen. The bullpen didn’t offer much relief in this series as they surrendered five runs in 7 2/3 innings including two homeruns given up by Matt Albers on Wednesday as the Reds tacked on three runs in the eighth.
UGLY: Team offense. As stated above, the offense has mustered up just thirteen runs in their last six games.
Here are a few of the lines from this series and recent games:
Young: 1-8 2 K’s in leadoff spot
Hill: 1-11 2 Runs
Kubel 1-9; 4 for his last 33(.121) 3 RBI
Goldie: 1-8; 3 for his last 26 (.115) 1 RBI
Montero: 2-12 1 RBI; 2 for his last 19(.105) 0 runs, 1 RBI
Johnson: 0-5 3 K’s; 4 for his 25 (.160) 0 Runs, 2 RBI
These six hitters combined to go 6 for 53 (.113). Not exactly the production you’d hope to be getting from the ‘core’ of your lineup as you attempt to make the playoffs.
*Defense. The team recorded an error in each of their three games including the crucial error with two outs at first that allowed a run to score.
NOTES: As rosters expand to 40 players from 25 on September 1st, the Dbacks hope to activate relievers Josh Collmenter and Takashi Saito and infielder Willie Bloomquist from the DL. If Fast Willie can come back to the lineup and be as productive as he was prior to the back issues, it could be a big boost for the team.
*Jake Elmore recorded his first career RBI during the Reds series on his second career double. The rookie also
*This series will kick off a stretch of twenty-four consecutive games against N.L. West teams starting tonight, including ten straight on the road. This includes six against the Dodgers and six against the Giants. Hey, stranger things have happened, right?
Now bring on the Dodgers!!
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