Three days ago the Arizona Diamondbacks were sitting above the .500 mark at 62-61 and trailed the Los Angeles Dodgers by just five games in the National League West.
Snap back to reality (oh there goes gravity) and the Diamondbacks have dropped the first three games of a four-game home set against baseball’s best team, the St. Louis Cardinals. Entering play on Thursday, Arizona now trails the Dodgers by 7.5 games in the standings and the Diamondbacks are now tied with the San Diego Padres in the NL West.
The National League Wild Card is out of reach for the Diamondbacks with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs running away with those two spots. The Diamondbacks trail the Chicago Cubs, who hold the No. 2 Wild Card spot, by 11.5 games. Chicago is 21-5 in their last 26 games, so there’s not much wiggle room there.
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Losing to the Cardinals (81-45) is understandable, but the Diamondbacks must win the series finale on Thursday if they want any chance at making a late-season push. Tonight’s game could very well set up whether the Diamondbacks will be in a playoff-push mode or whether we will see some Triple-A and Double-A prospects in the lineup and bullpen in September.
St. Louis has won seven straight games against Arizona and 12 of the last 13 games as well. In those 13 games the starting pitchers for the St. Louis Cardinals hold a 1.94 ERA.
The task will not get any easier for the Diamondbacks on Thursday as they will face Carlos Martinez (12-5, 2.85 ERA). Martinez started against the Diamondbacks in late-May and pitched seven scoreless innings, including eight strike outs in a 3-2 Cardinals victory.
The Diamondbacks will counter Martinez with Rubby De La Rosa. De La Rosa has been on a tear over his last seven starts where he boasts a 5-0 record with a 2.54 ERA and is 3-0 at home in that stretch of outings.
First pitch will be at 6:40 MST and you can catch the game on Fox Sports Arizona or at 98.7 Arizona Sports.