There was a lot of optimism about the Arizona Diamondbacks just three short days ago.
The D-backs were returning home from a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds, they had a winning record for the first time since April 22 and they were within five games of the National League West lead as they started a seven-game homestand at Chase Field.
Unfortunately, that homestand began with a four-day visit from the best team in baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Redbirds (81-45) have won the first three games of the series, including Wednesday night’s 3-1 win over the D-backs. The Snakes have again fallen two games under .500 and now trail the division-leading Dodgers by 7.5 games.
Including a three-game sweep over Arizona in late May, the Cardinals are 6-0 against the boys in Sedona Red this season. A St. Louis victory Thursday would be a bit of dubious D-backs’ history.
Only once since their inception in 1998 have the Diamondbacks gone winless in a season against a National League foe. The woeful 2004 D-backs, who finished with a franchise-worst 51-111 record, went 0-6 against the Montreal Expos, getting outscored 33-12 in the process. This year’s efforts against the Cardinals have been a little less one-sided. St. Louis has outscored Arizona 30-14 in the first six contests.
That’s not exactly the type of history this year’s team wants to be repeating.
The good news for Arizona is that 11-game winner Rubby De La Rosa will be on the hill in the series finale against St. Louis’ Carlos Martinez (12-6). De La Rosa has won his last five decisions. The right-hander did not pitch against the Cardinals in the first series between the teams at Busch Stadium.
The finale of the series gets underway at 6:40 p.m. in downtown Phoenix. You can hear the contest on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, beginning with pregame coverage at 6:00.