Success has not changed the disposition of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Despite the ascendancy through the National League West Division, it’s business as usual for the Arizona Diamondbacks. No excitement detected, no undo enthusiasm, no noticeable elation.
Save separation from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the division, the Diamondbacks remain a legitimate contender very much for one of the two NL wild-card spots. A tour through their clubhouse, these days, does not identify any undo emotion nor excitement.
Since the Diamondbacks roared out of the gate by winning six of their first seven games this season, placement in the NL West, and the advancing calendar into August, has not caused any change in the attitude and disposition of this club.
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Adhering the manager Torey Luvullo’s essential mantra of “staying in the moment,” the approach and methodology of this team has not changed since day one. That’s when Chris Owings delivered a walk-off singe to beat the San Francisco Giants, and started this combustible engine.
While success has been generated throughout the season, the fact that the Diamondbacks now head into the final two months of the season with a renewed faith and rekindled energy may not be the case. That’s the team’s mind-set, and has not waivered since day one of spring training. Before Friday’s game with the Washington Nationals at home, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt told Venom Strikes the method has simply not changed. That includes the present environment of a pennant chase.
"“We’ve played the same all year,” he said. “Last year, there was not much around here, but two years ago, we were about five or six games at one point. Our approach is not to get too high and not too low. Wins or losses do not carry over from day to day, and it’s a fresh start every day.”"
Coming into play Friday night, the Diamondbacks were 15 games above .500 (55-40) but 10.5 games behind the division-leading Dodgers. At this point, they are in the wrong division. With that record, Arizona would be within two games of the Nationals in the NL East and clearly leading the NL Central. That’s a fact which did not escape Nats’ skipper Dusty Baker, who told Venom Strikes before Friday’s game, that teams must play the hand in which they are dealt.
"“That’s a good team over there,” Baker said of the Diamondbacks. “(Third baseman Jake) Lamb is an All-Star, Goldschmidt is as good as it gets, the pitching is good and their running game is one of the best in the league. It’s hard to keep up with the Dodgers and the way they are playing. If they were in our division, it would be neck-and-neck.”"
"Arizona Diamondbacks: Martinez added for the stretch run"
Before Friday’s game, Lovullo put on his doctor’s white smock pulled out a lengthy medical sheet.
- J. D. Martinez – had an MRI on his bruised left hand Friday and that came up negative. Lovullo told Venom Strikes Martinez would be held out for a few days, but did not rule out the possibility of pinch-hitting in games in which he did not start.
- Rey Fuentes – continues to experience discomfort from right elbow inflammation. X-rays were negative on Friday and the team decided to shut down the outfielder for the foreseeable future.
- Yasmany Tomas – maintains minimal discomfort as a result of right groin tendinitis. Lovullo believes the outfielder is on the mend, and told Venom Strikes, “Tomas is trending upward.”
- Randall Delgado – on the 15-day DL for right elbow inflammation is currently shut down. Lovullo reported there is no baseball activity on his radar screen.
- Rubby De Rosa – on the Dl since July 6 with right shoulder inflammation, the right-hander is scheduled to pitch in an Arizona Rookie League game Friday night.
- Nick Ahmed – out since June 28 with a fractured right hand. Still no baseball activity and Ahmed is expected to be out until around Labor Day.