OK, I'll admit it: The odds of the Arizona Diamondbacks making the playoffs this year are not good.
With just four weeks left in the regular season, the D-backs -- who have won just two of their last ten contests -- are 10½ games behind the San Francisco Giants for the NL West crown. In the wild-card race, they're 6½ games behind the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals.
But not all hope is lost. In fact, there are plenty of reasons to believe that the Snakes will be playing ball this fall.
Here are my favorites:
The D-backs possess a plethora of proficient pitchers, and while many of them have underperformed this year (I'm looking at you, Ian Kennedy), there's no reason why they can't get back on track during these last 23 games.
Think about it. How dangerous would this staff be if Wade Miley continued to put up All-Star numbers, Kennedy found the stuff he had last year, Trevor Cahill threw like he did in his most recent outing, and Tyler Skaggs became more than a highly-touted prospect?
There's no denying it: Justin Upton and Chris Young have, in the words of Ham Porter, "play[ed] ball like a girl" this season. (No offense, ladies. You can ball, too. My point is, Upton and Young have regressed big-time this year.)
Fortunately, others have stepped it up. Take Jason Kubel, for example. The first-year Diamondback is leading the team in home runs (27) and runs batted in (82).
And let's not forget about Aaron Hill and Paul Goldschmidt. Hill is hitting .298 with 21 dingers, while Goldy has posted a .289 batting average and stolen a team-high 15 bags.
Thanks to these guys, scoring runs shouldn't be difficult down the stretch.
Of the five squads the D-backs will end the season against, three of them (San Diego, Colorado, and Chicago) have sub-.500 records.
Also, because Arizona faces San Francisco six more times, they have a chance put a serious dent in their rival's lead.Jared Bray is a featured contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and has been a D-backs fan since the day the franchise was founded.
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