Things are getting a little nervy around the Diamondbacks these days. What looked to be a nice ride into the postseason suddenly has become a pot-holed road littered with detours and obstacles at nearly every turn.
"I think we'll be all right," manager Bob Melvin said with his typical, whistling-through-the-graveyard approach.
But here are the cold, hard facts: The Diamondbacks have lost 10 of their last 15 games after a stretch that saw them win nine series in a row. After losing the first game of a pivotal, three-game series against visiting San Diego in clobbering fashion -- a 10-2 loss to the Padres at Chase Field on Monday -- the ghosts are circling.
"If we keep this up, we'll be sitting at home in October," left fielder Eric Byrnes said. "If we start playing better and start playing up to our capabilities and fulfilling our potential, I think we have a good enough team to be playing in October."
But time is running out. The Diamondbacks are struggling in multitudes of areas, from the back end of the starting rotation, an inconsistent offense, the bullpen and even the front end of the rotation, where ace Brandon Webb hasn't been himself since his streak of 42 consecutive scoreless innings ended.
"Tomorrow is a new day," said rookie right-hander Micah Owings, who allowed four home runs against the Padres on Monday. "This team is not going to drag and think about it too much. We've got some games left. If it was the last game of the season, then we could kick ourselves, but this team will bounce back."
PADRES 10, DIAMONDBACKS 2: Greg Maddux won for the first time in Arizona in any uniform, and the Padres rolled over the Diamondbacks to open a one-game lead over the diamondbacks in the National League West.
Maddux is now 2-10 against the Diamondbacks overall, and was 0-6 with a 5.67 ERA against them at Chase Field. On Monday, he held them to two runs and six hits and extended his streak of not allowing a walk to 49 1/3 innings over a span of seven starts.
Eric Byrnes tripled and homered for Arizona, which has lost 10 of 15 games. Arizona starter Micah Owings allowed five runs and four homers before being chased after three innings.
--LHP Bill Murphy made his major league debut Monday and allowed three runs on three hits in 1 2/3 innings after a surprise promotion from Class AAA Tucson.
--RHP Micah Owings didn't have it on the mound Monday, but he hit a double in his only at-bat against the Padres to raise his season average to .294.
--Manager Bob Melvin on rookie OF Justin Upton, 20, straying off third base and getting picked off during a late-inning situation with the game on the line against Colorado on Sunday: "Those things are going to happen with younger guys at the big-league level. We address it, but we don't address it harshly."
--C/UT Robby Hammock hit .325 with 22 extra-base hits in his last 67 games for Class AAA Tucson and earned a September call-up. "I know there's interest in other teams if the Diamondbacks don't decide to keep me around," he said. "I've just got to wait it out and see what happens."
--INF Emilio Bonifacio drew a walk in the ninth inning during his first major league plate appearance Monday.
--IF Alberto Callaspo, who started his first game for Class AAA Tucson on Friday after suffering a hamstring injury two weeks earlier, was expected to join the Diamondbacks on Monday or Tuesday.
BY THE NUMBERS: 7.71 -- Setup man Tony Pena's ERA during the month of August.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's basically taken over for Randy (Johnson). I don't know that he's ever pitched this well for a sustained period like that. I haven't looked at his numbers, but it's been spectacular for us." -- Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin on LHP Doug Davis, who was 7-1 in his first 10 starts since the All-Star break.
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