Diamondbacks Struggle Against NL East Foes - Reality Is Unpleasant

There is nothing worse than watching your hometown team get slaughtered by playoff-caliber teams, but that is the world Arizona Diamondbacks fans find themselves in on the current road swing to Philadelphia and Atlanta.

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It's tough to compare Arizona to the powerhouses out east. The offenses don't even come close - The Phillies and Braves are stacked with key acquisitions at the trade deadline (Hunter Pence, Michael Bourn) while the D-backs stood pat offensively, adding pitching depth.

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It sure doesn't help that Willie Bloomquist has crashed back down to earth, batting 2-for-19 (.105) since the road trip began. As our starting shortstop and leadoff man, Bloomquist must improve on his numbers, and quickly. Stephen Drew's injury is starting to haunt the D-backs.

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A bright spot has been the call up of Paul Goldschmidt, a young power hitter who has hit for both average (.269) and power (4 home runs, 10 RBI). He has entrenched himself at first base with his performance, and only a quick downturn would necessitate more playing time for Lyle Overbay.

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In short, the offense has stuttered and the pitching hasn't delivered on this road trip. It's a character building experience for Kirk Gibson's young team, and the highs and lows they have been feeling over the past month can only improve their attitude for the final stretch run.

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