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Arizona Diamondbacks: Second half schedule will test team’s resiliency

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Paul Goldschmidt, greeted by manager Torey Lovullo, needs to pickup his RBI production. (Jennifer Stewart / Getty Images)
Paul Goldschmidt, greeted by manager Torey Lovullo, needs to pickup his RBI production. (Jennifer Stewart / Getty Images)
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The Arizona Diamondbacks are scuffling, and the upcoming schedule will not provide any relief.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have scuffled and the Los Angeles Dodgers have rolled.

As a result, the Dodgers ended Sunday’s play 10.5 games ahead of Arizona in the National League West. How did the division get out of hand so quickly? It is simple really. Professional sports teams are judged by results. Coming into play Monday, the Diamondbacks have lost 11 of their last 14 games. Meanwhile, the Dodgers are 27-4 in their last 31 games.

Fortunately for the Diamondbacks, the Colorado Rockies have also slipped. Coming int play Monday, Arizona is one game ahead of Colorado for the top wild card spot. The Chicago Cubs are five and a half games back, the Braves are six games back,  the St. Louis Cardinals are seven and a half back and the Pittsburgh Pirates are eight games behind Arizona.

Looking at the schedule, the Braves come to Phoenix for a three game series next week. After starting the season 6-12, Atlanta has gone 37-32 in their last 69 games. After sweeping the Diamondbacks this past weekend, Arizona found out this is not an easy club to beat.

After Sunday, the Diamondbacks wrap up a six game trip with three contests at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. Before the break, the Reds took two of three from the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. But, the Reds are a much better team at home (23-21) than on the road (16-29). Field manager Bryan Price’s lineup is stacked from top to bottom.

Trying to earn a playoff spot

When Torey Lovullo’s club gets back home, they will welcome in the Washington Nationals for three games. The Nationals are right behind the Diamondbacks in the National League and boast the best lineup in the senior circuit.

After another series with the Braves, the Diamondbacks head to St. Louis for four games against the Cardinals. At home, St. Louis is an above .500 team. Then, Arizona will pay a visit to Wrigley Field and square off with the defending World Series champions. The Chicago Cubs have not been the same in 2017. But, they have played better as of late and acquired Jose Quintana from the Chicago White Sox. For Joe Maddon’s club, a wild card spot is still within reach.

After starting the month of August with Chicago, the Diamondbacks get a theoretical breather. Three games against the last place San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park would seem likely wins. After that, the Diamondbacks match up with the Dodgers and Cubs at home and play a four game, home and home with the Houston Astros.

Following two games in Houston, the Diamondbacks will head to Target Field to face the surprising Minnesota Twins. The Diamondbacks will have to take advantage of four games with the New York Mets at Citi Field and three against the Giants at home.

The Dodgers end the Diamondbacks’ month of August, outside of series with the Miami Marlins and Kansas City Royals, a boat load of divisional games will ensue.

As the Diamondbacks learned over the past few weeks, nothing comes easy and a playoff spot is not guaranteed.

"Arizona Diamondbacks: Second half off to a poor start"

Should the Diamondbacks play in October for the first time since 2011, they will have to win more road games, and get Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb back on track. In addition, timely and productive hits need to return, and closer Fernando Rodney must be consistent.

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