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The Diamondbacks just threw themselves into a pennant race

Arizona Diamondbacks' David Peralta, right, is congratulated by Paul Goldschmidt after Peralta hit a two-run home run off Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Jumbo Diaz during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in Cincinnati. The Diamondbacks won 4-0. (AP Photo/David Kohl)

As crazy as it may sound, the D-backs are officially in a pennant race.

No, really. Look it up.

We have a pennant race in the desert.

The Arizona Diamondbacks recent winning streak, coupled by the Los Angeles Dodgers five-game losing streak, has put the D-backs in a position no one outside of the clubhouse expected this late in the season.

After a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend, the D-backs moved above .500 for the first time since they were 8-7 in April, and now sit just five games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the National League West.

The D-backs picked up four games on the Dodgers in the standings over the past week after Los Angeles dropped five in a row to the Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros.

A Dodgers slump has opened the door wide open for the D-backs to not only keep things interesting, but make a legitimate run towards the division with 39 games left in the 2015 season.

The D-backs are now 18-10 in their last 28 games, which is extremely impressive considering that 20 of those games have been away from Chase Field, and now Arizona comes home for a crucial seven-game home-stand against the St. Louis Cardinals and Athletics.

Then again, this could all be a desert mirage.

MLB’s best team comes to the valley for four games against the Snakes beginning on Monday night, which is being aired to a national audience on ESPN by the way.

The Dodgers next three games come in Cincinnati, the same lifeless team the D-backs swept handily.

In other words, we could be painting an uglier picture at this time next week.

This home-stand is huge and if they can manage to hang around the spot they are currently in, they will enter September and October playing almost exclusively within the division, including seven more games with the Dodgers.

If the D-backs are to make those seven games against the Dodgers meaningful, they will have to get consistent efforts from their starting rotation.

The team has scored 564 runs this season, which leads the entire National League. Only problem is they have given up 524 runs.

Imagine if this team had any consistency from their starting rotation, or did not have the early season bullpen problems with closer Addison Reed.

Instead of being five games out on Aug. 23, this may have been a dead-even race at this point.

Regardless, I don’t think there’s any D-backs fan out there whose complaining about the spot the team is at in the standings considering where they were last season.

And for now, let’s enjoy this pennant race for as long as we can.

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