The Arizona Diamondbacks are at a crossroads. After emerging as early NL West contenders, Arizona has fallen off a cliff. This next week can either jump-start a turnaround or cement the notion that the D-backs’ hot start was a fluke.
Arizona is playing host to the Reds and the Marlins during their short, six-game homestand. Both teams are in last place in their divisions. The Reds are 19-36 and are 4-6 over their last ten games, including Monday’s loss to Arizona. The Marlins are 20-33 and are also 4-6 over their last ten games.
The D-backs got their week off to a great start, trouncing the Reds 12-5. Although the result should be expected, if the D-backs are truly contenders, there were positives to take away from the game. For starters, the D-backs hit home runs at home. That sentence could’ve stopped at the word hit since there hasn’t been much of that going on recently, but the offense has especially struggled at Chase Field. There haven’t been many Diamondback homers at Chase. Damn humidor.
Arizona overcame a rough outing by their starter. Matt Koch gave up five earned runs in five innings, including the game’s opening run in the second inning. It was refreshing to see the offense both come from behind and take the lead early.
The third positive takeaway from Monday’s game, and probably the most important, is that Paul Goldschmidt hit the dang baseball. Goldy went 2-5 with an RBI and a run scored. That brought his batting average up to a whopping .208, but he’s hitting .300 over the last five games with three runs scored and four RBI. Things are looking up.
Where do the Arizona Diamondbacks go from here?
Counting Monday’s win, Arizona needs to win at least four of their next five games. That would change the narrative completely. Should the D-backs win all five games, that would make them winners of seven out of their last ten, heading into a three-game set with the below .500 and division rival San Francisco Giants. It would halt the bad national press and power ranking free fall and restore the indifference with Arizona. Isn’t that all anyone wants?
A six-game winning streak would have a profound impact both in the Valley of the Sun and the NL West. Most importantly, beating the Reds and Marlins would restore confidence. It’s no secret that the D-backs could use any help they can get in the batter’s box, as Arizona ranks 29th in runs scored and 30th in hits. It would also restore confidence in Diamondback fans. After being so high on the team at the start of the season, the recent losing streak has really taken most of the air out of the balloon. The return of AJ Pollock, Robby Ray and Paul Goldschmidt’s bat have the fans holding out their last shreds of hope, but a winning streak, albeit short but a winning streak, could re-energize Chase Field.
The Diamondbacks winning would also put pressure on the Rockies. The Rockies are hosting both the Giants and the Dodgers this week, so Arizona catching fire would put pressure on Colorado to beat the Dodgers, who’ve won eight of their last ten (damn.).
The Diamondbacks can turn around their losing ways but need to do so now, or it could get real ugly.