It will take quite a bit of luck, and the mood in the D-backs' clubhouse Wednesday reflected the reality of the situation. The players, though, vowed to keep playing hard.
"Basically we're holding on by a thread right now," second baseman David Eckstein said. "We definitely need a lot of help out there, and hopefully, we can start helping ourselves."
The D-backs will try to salvage a split of the four-game set with the Cardinals on Thursday afternoon with Doug Davis on the mound. Then it's home to close out the season with three games against the Rockies.
"We know the situation," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said. "We just have to win. We have to win out and get a lot of help. Until there's an asterisk by your name, you've got to play each game and win every game -- that's what it's about right now."
ARI: LHP Doug Davis (6-8, 4.25 ERA)
Davis deserved a better fate than he received in his last outing against the Rockies. The left-hander allowed just two runs over six innings and left with a 3-2 lead, only to watch the bullpen give it up. Arizona eventually got the win, but it came too late for Davis, who has received no-decisions in each of his last four starts, despite not allowing more than three runs in any of those games. This will be Davis' final start of the year, and he will finish with a below-.500 record for the first time since 2003.
STL: RHP Joel Pineiro (6-7, 5.21 ERA)
Pineiro's last opportunity to salvage an often-frustrating season comes at home against Arizona. He actually pitched better than his line (six innings, five runs, three earned) his last time out, limiting the damage after a number of defensive missteps behind him. He may be a tired hurler, though, since he headed home to Florida between starts to be with his wife and newborn twins.
Reliever Jon Rauch's struggles continued Tuesday when he allowed a pair of runs in the seventh inning against the Cardinals. "He's just getting a lot of plate, and I think on top of that, when you're not used to having the type of outings that he is having, it plays with you, confidence-wise," Melvin said. "His stuff still looks reasonably the same. There was a point there, for a while, it didn't look like the ball was coming out of his hand well, but as of late, it has, and it looks like he has pretty good bite to his slider. They're not missing his mistakes right now and haven't for quite a while now."
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Official game notes
KTAR 620, KSUN 1400 (Español)
Friday: Diamondbacks (Dan Haren, 16-8, 3.27) vs. Rockies (Jason Hirsh, 0-0, 10.38), 6:40 p.m. MST
Saturday: Diamondbacks (Brandon Webb, 22-7, 3.24) vs. Rockies (TBD), 5:10 p.m. MST
Sunday: Diamondbacks (Randy Johnson, 10-10, 4.11) vs. Rockies (TBD), 1:10 p.m. MST