Diamondbacks on verge of elimination

Photo by Cydney McFarland

Photo by Cydney McFarland

With their 9-3 loss Tuesday to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Arizona Diamondbacks are two games away from being eliminated from the NL West Division title. Sitting 9.5 games out of first place, the Diamondbacks will miss the playoffs for the second straight season.

The Diamondbacks have struggled the second half of the season, going 26-29 after going 50-44 in the first half and being in the thick of the divisional race. The organization has wasted the past couple of years while getting rid of perennial all-star Justin Upton and shortstop Stephen Drew, both of whom are on division-leading teams. Had Arizona kept both players, they would have offered more protection in the lineup for MVP-caliber first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

Goldschmidt has been the only bright spot for the D-Backs offensively in 2013. The burly first baseman leads the team in nearly every major offensive category, while no other player is even remotely close. With Upton and/or Drew, the Diamondbacks could have had a more potent lineup.

The bullpen has been another weak spot for the Diamondbacks this season. The team has blown 27 saves, converting only 57 percent of its opportunities. If the bullpen had only converted half of their blown chances, the Diamondbacks would be right in the division race.

Arizona missed a major opportunity this season with Goldschmidt having one of the best offensive years in the team’s brief but successful history. The team needs to stick with a roster for more than one season so it can develop back into a playoff contender.

All that Diamondbacks fans can hope for now is a successful offseason and that when spring comes again, a new hope will too.