All Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers can do right now is watch as his team, which once led the NL West, sees its postseason hopes slowly slip away.
Entering play Wednesday, his team is sitting 13.5 games back of the Dodgers for the division lead and is eight games behind Cincinnati for the second Wild Card spot.
Losers of their last three and five of their last six, the D-backs appear to be running on empty, and Towers seems almost at a loss for what has happened to his club.
“The schedule’s pretty much running out on us,” he told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Wednesday, adding that the Washington Nationals have now moved ahead of the D-backs in the Wild Card race. “So we’re not making things any easier on ourselves.
“I’m probably as frustrated as I’m sure fans are and you guys are.”
The list of reasons for the D-backs’ struggles is a long one, as they’ve had problems with starting pitching, relief pitching, hitting and base running. They’ve had stretches this season where they’ve played well and beaten some good teams, but those have not come of late. And the team’s losing record against sub-.500 teams is, well, a bit of a surprise given the makeup of the team.
“Your good ballclubs beat up on the teams that you should win ballgames against, and we haven’t,” Towers said.
The GM said he’s not sure if it’s a mental issue, with the team’s focus being better against better pitchers or teams, or if the players tend to led their guard down against less well-known pitchers or losing clubs.
Either way, he said the team has “looked flat” since the All-Star break, which is troubling.
“We weren’t outstanding beforehand, but we were still in first place holding on,” he said. “Came out of the break, had a chance to kind of separate ourselves from the rest of the pack in the division.
“Came out of the break flat and been that way ever since.”
Of course, the season is not over and the Diamondbacks have not been mathematically eliminated. Saying he’s a competitor as well as a realist, Towers admitted he knows his team is in a rough spot.
Saying he’s not ready to give up on the season until he has to, Towers said the D-backs will have to play, “.750 to .800 baseball,” and win upwards of 90 games or so if they are to have a chance to play past game 162.