It would be easy to overreact to the Diamondbacks getting swept at home by the Los Angeles Dodgers and say things like they are a mediocre squad and L.A. is the team to beat in the NL West.
Let’s not do that.
Instead let’s react and say the Diamondbacks, as currently constructed, are not going to win the NL West.
The D-backs are a first place team in standings only, not ability. Their 48-44 mark would be good enough for fourth in the NL Central, second in the NL East, third in the AL West, second in the AL Central and fifth in the AL East.
For the longest time them leading the division was enough to pacify folks and make them believe all was well, but that is no longer the case.
The team’s issues were, at the time, masked by the inept division in which it resides, and while it’s true the D-backs only have to finish atop the scrap heap to reach the postseason, the cream has begun to rise to the top. And sorry, D-backs, but that’s not you.
The Dodgers’ torrid pace of late has brought them to within 1.5 games of the D-backs, and their recent sweep of the Snakes had everything they could want: two dominant wins along with a late rally made a statement, and all the D-backs could respond with was, “well, your attitude sucks.”
The Dodgers’ high-priced talent proved to be too much for the D-backs’ grit to handle.
Yeah, this was not a good few days for the D-backs.
In truth, perhaps Arizona needed the wake up call.
Getting swept by the Dodgers may have shed more light onto the fact that this team, while not bad, is not particularly good, either.
You think their 10-4 mark in extra-inning games shows their ability to overcome adversity? I’ll show you their MLB-worst 19 blown saves, many of which led to those extra-inning affairs, and say much of the adversity is self-inflicted.
Their offense is inconsistent, if not underwhelming, and the starting rotation leaves much to be desired.
(Side note: Want to see something that will make you ill? A look at the team’s top-10 highest paid players reveals all of two — Gerardo Parra and Brad Ziegler — performing at a level commensurate with their paychecks. Ugh.)
Anyway, as the D-backs creep up on the July 31 trade deadline they are likely to be linked to various deals, none of which are likely to make a significant impact in the team’s playoff hopes.
Besides, any such deal (or deals) would likely require the D-backs parting with top prospects, and that’s something GM Kevin Towers should just not do.
This team needs too much and is too far away from being a legit contender to sacrifice the future for the present. Would a deal (or deals) make the team better? Perhaps. But would the team be good enough?
After seeing how the Dodgers handled them over the last few days — along with how they’ve played the entire season — it’s tough to see that gap being closed.