Apr 10, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Actor Sean Astin (R) poses with Arizona Diamondbacks mascot “D Baxter” prior to the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The Arizona Diamondbacks are 35-40 at Chase Field heading into their final six games at home. In a season that has seen quite a few positives, the inability to be .500 or above at home is one of the bigger strikes. Granted, the D-backs have the rest of this week to get at or above the better side of the ledger. Given that their last four series in Phoenix have resulted in a losing record, that seems like a tall order. Simply put, if Arizona is to take the next step to being a playoff contender in 2016, they have to own their home ballpark, including the pool.
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We all knew going into the season that D-backs’ starting pitching was going to be challenging. With a few exceptions, that was indeed the case. However, what torpedoed the chance at an above .500 record or even a playoff push was their play at home after the All Star Game. They came out of the break by getting swept by the Giants and then dropping two out of three to the Marlins. In August, after that euphoric four game sweep in Cincinnati, the Snakes proceeded to return home and have the Cardinals sweep them four straight. To make matters worse, Arizona then dropped two out of three to the A’s. Finally, on their last stay in the desert, they went 3-4 against their California rivals. That is a record of 5-15; the A’s and Marlins have both lost over 90 games. Had they gone at least .500 or 11-9, we would feel a lot better about this team.
If the D-backs want to be taken seriously, they need to do a better job of defending Chase Field. Despite all of their wealth of pitching, the Mets were not considered legitimate contenders until they improved their play at Citi Field. They had been horrible in their home ballpark since they began play there in 2009. This season, they are 18 games over .500. Arizona needs that type of record at home in order to move up in the National League West.