PHOENIX -- Boasting a 51-50 record, the D-backs are in the playoff picture, but they aren't exactly where they thought they would be a year after capturing the National League West crown. At this junction last year, the D-backs were 54-47 and on their way to winning seven of their next nine games to move to 12 games over .500 by Aug. 2. But despite not being in as strong of a position, the D-backs aren't wavering from their belief they can make a playoff push.
"We have plenty of talent to make a run with the guys we have," infielder Willie Bloomquist said. "They don't have to do anything we're not capable of doing. Obviously we have some ground to make up, but there's quite a bit of time to go." The club entered Sunday's series finale with the Mets trailing the first-place Giants by 4 1/2 games in the division while sitting 5 1/2 games out of a Wild Card spot. "I know we're contenders, there's no question about it," outfielder Chris Young said. "We've gone through some ups and downs, but when it comes down to it, we're still a good team. That doesn't tell anything for the future, though. We can get hot; we can get cold. Before you know it, we can be a game out, or 10 out. It's a matter of us coming together and playing quality baseball." Starting Monday, the D-backs play 13 of 16 games against teams with winning records. "The next few games will be huge for us," second baseman Aaron Hill said. "I think we've been playing pretty well, though, just have to keep it up." Manager Kirk Gibson likes the way his club is looking right now. "I don't have a crystal ball, I know we press for that every day, though," Gibson said. "Guys haven't gotten overly frustrated. I think we're in a good spot. Guys are coming in very businesslike. I feel good."