Source: Arizona Republic
The Diamondbacks this season have been like an old car engine that sputters out again just when you think it's about to roar to life.
The Diamondbacks are as tired of this cycle as their fans are of watching it, but that hasn't prevented it from playing out over and over again this season: Right when they look poised to make a prolonged run, they stumble and do something like drop the first two games of a series against one of the National League's poorer teams.
That's what the Chicago Cubs were in the first half of the year, but after two days in Chicago, including a 4-1 loss on Saturday afternoon, the Diamondbacks find themselves looking to avoid a sweep Sunday at Wrigley Field.
And, as usual, if it's not one thing with this team it's another.
On Friday, right-hander Ian Kennedy was knocked around and the offense couldn't do much against Cubs lefty Paul Maholm. This time, the Diamondbacks got a decent start from the recently healthy Joe Saunders, but they again couldn't piece together enough offense to win a game.
"Last year, we'd find a way to scratch back in the ninth inning and squeeze out a win to keep that thing going," infielder Geoff Blum said. "This year, a little bit of that magic is lost. Trying to get that momentum has been a little bit tougher for us this year."
And besides a fleeting and ultimately fruitless rally in the ninth inning Saturday, they've basically been manhandled by the Cubs -- a team that began play Friday 19 games under .500 -- over the course of 18 innings at Wrigley.
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