Arizona Diamondbacks: Second half off to a poor start

In the second half, Paul Goldschmidt needs to pick up his RBI production. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
In the second half, Paul Goldschmidt needs to pick up his RBI production. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Play after the break for the Arizona Diamondbacks began on a familiar tone.

The second half of the season for the Arizona Diamondbacks started the same way the first half ended.

That would be with a loss and another disappointing hour. Given their recent side of a three- game losing streak and slide in six of their last seven games, the Diamondbacks cannot afford anymore roadblocks in what has been a successful ride to this point. Despite a physical standpoint and a glance at the standings, the continued negative results would have that dreadful and ominous cloud hanging over the clubhouse.

The latest bout with misery transpired Friday night in Atlanta, and the opening day of the second half. Against the improved Braves, a team which was three games under .500 coming into play, the Diamondbacks displayed some of the characteristics of a team trapped in its own agony over the past two weeks.

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Tied at 2-2 in the eighth inning, the Diamondbacks manage to manufacture the go-ahead run. That’s when Chris Owings scored from third on a wild pitch. In an experience he has not given the Diamondbacks at any time this season, Archie Bradley subsequently allowed two runs in the Atlanta half of the eighth, and the Braves squeezed out a 4-3 victory in new Sun Trust Stadium. Third baseman Freddie Freeman delivered the game-winner with a two-run single to left in the eighth.

For the first time this season, Bradley allowed more than one run in any one outing, and that prompted manager Torey Lovullo to tell the Associated Press that Bradley continues to be a principal weapon in his bullpen.

"“We believe in Archie and Freeman just beat us,” he said. “We thought about (walking Freeman), but we thought Archie was the guy to get us out of the mess.”"

One of the maladies which struck the Diamondbacks at the All-Star break and seemed to continue after the break. That is is lack of production from key producers. Granted, Paul Goldschmidt’s solo homer in the seventh tied the Atlanta game, but his production in recent weeks has all but disappeared.

Ditto for fellow National League All-Star Jake Lamb.

On June 29, Goldschmidt was leading the National League in RBIs with 66. With his homer Friday night, he has now driven in 68 runs. On June 29, Lamb had 64 RBIs and after Friday night’s game, he has 67 RBIs.

With Goldschmidt and Lamb driving in runs earlier in the season, the Diamondbacks’ rise in the National League West division was noticeable. Just as obvious now is their descent and sporadic production from the middle of the batting order.

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Lovullo can only hope these two-main producers start to produce once again. If not, the supporting cast may not have the fire power to keep the Rockies from gaining second place in the division, and clearly incapable of catching the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.