Coming off an improbable season a year ago which included a National League West title, 94 regular season wins and a trip to the NL Division Series, nobody would have expected Kirk Gibson’s Arizona Diamondbacks to be 20-25, near the bottom of the division and 10.5 games behind the Dodgers in late May.
Everything that could have gone wrong has as Arizona has struggled with key injuries (center fielder Chris Young, starting pitcher Daniel Hudson), a leaky bullpen and cold bats after a strong start to the season.
Gibson and his staff know there is plenty of baseball left and with a wild card birth a more realistic possibility at this point compared to catching LA, there is no panic, but there’s definitely concern as the D-backs continue to struggle.
“It’s reality when expectations are higher,” ESPN baseball insider Pedro Gomez told Brad Cesmat Thursday on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “Last year there were no expectations because the team had finished near the [bottom] the previous few seasons losing 90-plus games. It’s not as easy when you’re expected to win as when you can sneak up on people.”
Another issue has been their play at Chase Field where the Snakes are just 8-14 entering Friday’s game against the Brewers. Last season they were 51-30.