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D-backs hit minor speed bump, remain within striking distance
The Diamondbacks lost a series for the first time in over a month when they dropped two of three over the weekend at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Things could have been worse as the D-backs faced a sweep on Sunday with Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the Dodgers – Kershaw is the Dodgers’ ace and one of the best starters in the league. Fortunately, the D-backs had their ace pitching as well and, on this day, Ian Kennedy came out on top.
Losing two games to start the series was a disappointment because the D-backs blew a golden opportunity to grab the division lead. So much work had been done on the road, the Diamondbacks were rolling and there was a sense that the fans were starting to back the team.Fans need to stay confident and focus on the positive. The fact that the D-backs went an entire month without losing a series was an impressive stretch–a stretch that brought them to within a half game of the league-leading Giants. All that matters now is what happens moving forward.
D-backs fail to take advantage during first series of home stand
The D-backs left San Francisco on Wednesday only one game out of first place. The Giants left the door open by dropping three of four against the Philadelphia Phillies. Instead of kicking that door wide open, the D-backs picked a bad time to cool off. A D-backs series win against the Dodgers – a team that they should beat – would have propelled Arizona to the top of the standings. The good news is that the D-backs remain only a half game back. At this point, the NL West is clearly up for grabs.
Time is now for D-backs as danger looms
The D-backs have seven games remaining on the current home stand and it is imperative that both series are won to create a little cushion and momentum. On Monday the Diamondbacks open a four-game series with the Houston Astros. Houston is undoubtedly the worst team in baseball. Even a split in this series would be a huge disaster.
On Friday the D-backs host a three-game, weekend series with the New York Mets. Although the Mets are having a decent season, this is another must-win series for Arizona, mostly because of the danger that lies ahead in the form of a 10-game road trip against elite National League teams. The D-backs will play three games in Philadelphia against arguably the best team in the majors, then travel to Atlanta for three against a Braves team that is currently leading the Wild Card standings. The long road trip will wrap up in D.C. with four games against the Nationals.
Even the most optimistic fans have to recognize the challenge and significance for that upcoming trip. This is why the next seven days are critical if the D-backs want to stay in this race for the remainder of the season.