PHOENIX -- The D-backs entered Monday seven games behind the first-place Giants and five games behind the Dodgers in the National League West and 6 1/2 games off the Wild Card pace with three teams between them and a playoff berth, but the club's brass is refusing to give up hope with more than a month left in the season.
"We're not waiving the white flag," D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said. "We have a lot of games in the division, hopefully we can get hot. Until we're officially eliminated, we'll keep playing. But we're going to have to start winning series."
Of the team's 34 remaining games, only six will be played outside of the division. With so many chances to win head-to-head matchups against clubs they are trailing, the D-backs are hoping they can replicate what the Cardinals did last season, when St. Louis trailed in the Wild Card by 10 1/2 games on Aug. 25 only to storm back to win the World Series.
"The amazing thing is that we are in a better position now than the Cardinals were in last year," D-backs president Derrick Hall said. "Granted, there are two teams that we have to overcome, and they are both playing very well and we haven't played as well as I think we could have or should have of late, but we could still have a run in us. Being seven games down with 34 to go, anything is possible, and I think we are still in it, be it the Wild Card or the division. I'm optimistic."
Part of the disappointment of the D-backs' 64-64 record this season is how well they played and how many people they surprised last year. But according to Towers, the club's 2011 playoff run may have been more of a flash in the pan.
"I don't know if it's as much we're underachieving this year as we overachieved last year and this is who we are," Towers said. "I felt on paper we were better, I don't think the division is that much stronger. We probably overachieved last year, but we wanted to sustain what we did."