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Touch ’em All: D-backs swept by Reds

We’re gathered here today to remember what once was a season full of hope and promise for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The team’s season has officially collapsed and fallen into the dark abyss that is a disappointing 2012 campaign.

“Until they put an X by our name, we’re not out,” Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf on Wednesday. “We’ve certainly dug ourselves a deep hole.”

Towers is completely correct in both statements, even if they are both the most obvious notes about the D-backs current predicament.

Arizona technically isn’t out until they are mathematically eliminated; but everyone knows they’re done. On top of that, I would venture to say that saying the team has dug itself a deep hole is perhaps the understatement of the century.

On August 1, the Diamondbacks were 2.5 games back in the NL West. On August 29th, they are 9.5 games back. The Snakes didn’t just dig themselves a hole, they buried themselves in it as well.

The Results

Game 1

Cincinnati pitcher Bronson Arroyo came to play on Monday. He pitched well, throwing six innings of two-run baseball, but he also hit. He scored the go-ahead run in the sixth inning when he homered off of Tyler Skaggs. For the D-backs, this game was the latest in the continuing saga of the team with the disappearing offense. They scored two runs in the first couple of innings and went dormant from the plate the rest of the night. Reds 3, Diamondbacks 2

Game 2

Wade Miley recorded his 15th quality start of the season giving up only three runs over seven innings, but it wasn’t enough as the Reds handed him his ninth loss Tuesday. The D-backs managed only four hits as the numbers two through six hitters went hitless rendering them unable to keep up with the run total of Cincinnati, which was spurred on by two RBI from first baseman Todd Frazier. Reds 5, Diamondbacks 2

Game 3

Patrick Corbin was cruising and the Diamondbacks had the lead. Through six innings the Diamondbacks were up 2-0 and it seemed like they were on the cusp of snapping their losing streak. Four home runs and six runs later, the Reds claimed victory on Wednesday as well as a sweep in the series. Cincinnati pitcher Mat Latos earned his 11th win of the season with the victory. Reds 6, Diamondbacks 2

What it Means

Arizona is now 9.5 games back in the NL West and 7.5 out of the wild card with only 31 games to play. Putting it directly, this means the D-backs season is done.

Series Report Card

Record: F

The D-backs were swept for the second series in a row. Yes, the Reds are good, but dropping three games like that is inexcusable. The team finished 2-8 on its ten-game home stand.

Offense: F

Managing only 11 hits and six runs in three games is absolutely terrible. Looking back, the Diamondbacks suffered from Houdini syndrome in this series. In all three games, they jumped out to an early lead with the offense looking good in the first few innings. But then, just as quickly as those runs were scored, the offense would disappear completely for the remainder of the series. Kirk Gibson’s squad did not score any runs after the fifth inning in this series. They also couldn’t get anything going in any one inning, as the team also had no inning in which it scored more than one run. The offense was abysmal.

That bad you ask?

Yes. Take a look at these stats and MLB rankings for the D-backs offense in the last seven days.

Type of Stat: D-backs stat (MLB rank)

Batting Average .190 (28)

On Base Percentage .249 (29)

Home Runs 5 (23)

Runs 22 (23)

Extra Base Hits 14 (26)

Defense: D

Three errors (one in each game) in this series for Arizona, but otherwise the team played good defense against the Reds. Normally I would be more upset with the three errors, but the fact is the D-backs’ defense is not the worst aspect of this squad right now, and attention needs to be placed elsewhere before the fielding woes can be fixed.

Pitching: B+

Three times in this series a Diamondbacks pitcher started a game, and three times he lost it. However, that doesn’t reflect upon the true nature of the teams pitching performances in this series.

In his second career start, Tyler Skaggs pitched 5.2 innings while only allowing two earned runs on five hits, but received the loss because of an unearned run caused by a D-backs error. Wade Miley had a quality start on Tuesday, pitching seven innings while only giving up three runs on six hits, but got the loss because Arizona only scored two runs. Patrick Corbin was pitching lights out on Wednesday up until he gave up three runs in the seventh inning. But even with those three runs Corbin earned a quality start. But yet again, he got the loss because the D-backs didn’t score enough runs. Matt Albers and Matt Lindstrom each yielded runs coming out of the bullpen, but besides that the relief pitchers were solid in this three-game set.

Can’t pin this one on the guys on the mound.

Managing: F

There were large chunks of the games in which it appeared that the team had just given up, and that doesn’t reflect well on the manager. Gibson may be preaching that the team needs to fight hard in every at bat, but with some of the flailing, disastrous swings that I witnessed in this series it’s hard to tell if the players are listening to the skipper.

Series Awards

Play of the Series:

Justin Upton’s home run in the second inning on Monday. Because it was really one of the only good plays in the series, and the D-backs still had some hope at that point in time.

Players of the Series:

Patrick Corbin, Tyler Skaggs and Wade Miley. Each one of these pitchers deserved a win for their efforts, but none of them received one.

The “Dikembe Mutombo Finger Wag” award:

The Diamondbacks. The whole team. Disappointment doesn’t quite sum up what the players and fans are feeling right now.

Best Moment of the Series:

Seeing it come to an end. That series was difficult to watch.

The Road Ahead:

The Diamondbacks head to Los Angeles for a four-game set with the Dodgers. Since I think Arizona just put the nails in their coffin, I suppose a series loss to L.A. would be the equivalent of what I like to call overkill.