Second place in the division, second place for a wild-card. Those are the positions the Arizona Diamondbacks find themselves in as the calendar creeps toward September. As I write this, they are playing the team directly in front of them in the WC standings, the Cincinnati Reds. To me, that ship has sailed. In the four game series, the D-Backs needed to win three of them and right now, they will either be back to what they were entering Cincinnati or worse – seven games behind the Reds. The only way Arizona gets into the playoffs is if the they win the National League West. That seems like an odd statement considering the Los Angeles Dodgersare hotter than Mercury and the D-Backs are 8 1/2 games off the lead.
Paul Goldschmidt needs to stay hot if the D-Backs hope to catch the Dodgers. Image: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Simply put, it comes down to 13 games. I don’t expect the D-Backs to win a wild card as I believe both of those spots will be locked up by the two NL Central teams that don’t win the division. Plus, the Snakes do not play any more games against the Reds, Pirates and Cardinals. So the 13 games I refer to include seven against the Dodgers. The first three take place in LA from September 9th-11th. The other four are the following week at Chase Field. At the very least, the D-Backs need to win five of them to pick up three games. The other six do not involve Arizona. They feature the Giants, who play the Dodgers three times in Chavez Ravine on September 12th-14th and then three games in San Francisco September 24th-26th. I am sure the Giants would love nothing more than to make life miserable for their long-time rivals. It would be nice for Frisco to take four of six. If Arizona can pickup four or five games out of these 13, then we could have ourselves a nice race.
Of course, none of this means anything if the Dodgers stay red-hot through the first week of September and Arizona can’t make up any ground. Then, all we will have to discuss those last three weeks of the season is how will 2014 will look for the D-Backs.