When the San Diego Padres visited Chase Field last week I was really hoping to be able to take 2 of 3 games and win the series. When the Diamondbacks swept the Padres my confidence swelled. With the Dodgers struggling and losing all of their games during their current road trip I thought that this was the time for the Arizona Diamondbacks to nail the lid to the coffin shut and take control of their play-off destiny. All it would take would be for Arizona to win two or three games against the last place Padres and this race would basically be over even before the upcoming series against the Dodgers.
Instead Arizona squandered an opportunity. The series against the Florida Marlins should have ended with a Diamondbacks sweep but instead they were able to salvage just one game against Florida. The bullpen failed in the opening game of the series and the offense failed in the third game of series giving the Marlins two undeserved wins. Even with that there was still hope. Arizona would travel to San Diego for a rematch from the previous home stand. Taking two games or even better sweeping the Padres would still give them momentum going into the Los Angeles series.
The pitching matchup definitely favored the Arizona Diamondbacks with both Haren and Webb scheduled to throw for the snakes. Once again the bullpen became the Achilles heel of the 2008 Diamondbacks when they failed to hold the lead in two of the three games. Jon Rauch gave up 2 runs in the bottom of the ninth to give the Padres a walk-off victory in the first game. Chad Qualls failed to hold the lead for Randy Johnson who was on the end of yet another failure as the Padres won that game 5-4.
It’s becoming evident that the Diamondbacks are not going to be the Cinderella team they were last season. Gone are the thoughts that this team is going to dominate through the final 5 weeks of the season to run away with the divisional title. It seems like ages ago that we talked about Arizona being among the elite teams in the National League. It is now looking as though they will be fighting for their very lives to even make the play-offs.
It is hard to watch your dreams float by. I’m not giving up on this team but I am beginning to ponder the realization that we might be on the outside looking in when the play-offs start. It’s not an idea I am comfortable with and I hope that somehow this team can get together both offensively as well as from a pitching perspective to begin playing like they did in April. I got a taste of October baseball last year after being without it for several years and quite honestly I kind of liked it and want to go back without having to root for a team other than the Arizona Diamondbacks.