Commentary

Don't count out Arizona

The Diamondbacks' shortstop went down, but they keep on winning

Updated: August 5, 2011, 4:49 PM ET
By Dave Cameron | FanGraphs
UptonMark J. Rebilas/US PresswireIn the past two weeks, Justin Upton has hit .392 with a .961 slugging percentage for Arizona.

On July 20, the Arizona Diamondbacks stood 4.5 games behind the defending champion San Francisco Giants in the NL West, and their chances of gaining ground took a significant hit when shortstop Stephen Drew broke his right ankle and was lost for the season.

Given that the D-backs weren't expected to be contenders, were staring at a significant deficit with two months remaining in the season then had to deal with the loss of one of their best players, you would be forgiven for writing off Arizona's chances of grabbing a playoff spot this year.

However, since Drew went down, the Snakes are 9-4 and have closed the gap to just a half-game. How has this rag-tag roster turned and ran back into a contender?

The biggest kudos have to go Justin Upton's way. When sports writers talk about a guy carrying a team on his back, they're talking about things Upton has done the last two weeks.


To see why the D-backs' roster is well suited for a late-season run, you must be an ESPN Insider.