Cincinnati isn't exactly a complete step above Triple-A ball, either.
"Obviously, we didn't foresee this coming in this series with the pitchers we had going, but we've got to move on," said Arizona manager Bob Melvin, who added that he has seen signs lately that some of his players are beginning to press.
But Arizona's NL West lead is still three games because, while the Diamondbacks have lost four in a row, the Dodgers have lost six consecutive games.
You know what that means: When the Snakes and Dodgers meet for a three-game series this weekend in Arizona, somebody has to win.
So how, exactly, do you view events of this week from first place in the NL West?
As a lost opportunity to put some serious distance between yourself and the Dodgers? Or as simply being fortunate to be retaining first place?
"I have no choice but to look at it as we're fortunate to be where we are," said Melvin, looking as if he wished he had several more choices. "That's been the case all year. We got off to a hot start, then we played really poorly in May, June and July."
Crunch time, and with runners on first and second and one out in a scoreless game in the fourth inning Wednesday, Arizona's Conor Jackson was picked off second base about as badly as you can pick a guy off.
Los Angeles' Matt Kemp botched a fly ball in Philadelphia because he lost it in the sun. Of course, he was wearing the old-style baseball flip-down sunglasses at the time. But the lenses were up. He simply neglected to flip them down.
And Mets manager Jerry Manuel routinely empties his bullpen like a kid overturning his toy chest. Everything sort of tumbles out all at once into a big mess. Messiest, with closer Billy Wagner's elbow hurting, are Scott Schoeneweis, Pedro Feliciano and Aaron Heilman.
Manuel mercifully is promising to give Heilman a few days' break because of "fatigue."
Hey, it's going around. Dodgers manager Joe Torre in Washington, D.C., the other day, called slumping second baseman Jeff Kent and third baseman Casey Blake into his office to ask each man whether he was fatigued. With Kent and Blake contributing (er, not contributing, actually), the Dodgers have gone 5-for-50 with runners in scoring position during their past four games.
Maybe everyone simply needs a good, long sleep before the playoffs begin.
Things usually look better in the morning, right?
• How rough are things in the NL right now? The Dodgers on Wednesday informed reliever Tanyon Sturtze that they were cutting him. Then, as he packed his bags, they told him no, they weren't. Not right then, at least.
• Postseason rosters must be set by Monday, meaning no players acquired through waiver trades after Sunday are eligible for playoff duty. Which pretty much discounts Colorado closer Brian Fuentes from moving, being that the Rockies placed him on the bereavement list. The earliest Fuentes can return now is Friday, but the Rockies must pass him through waivers again before attempting to trade him, and that process now cannot be finished before Monday's postseason roster deadline.
• Besides, the Rockies now might want to keep Fuentes. As the Diamondbacks and Dodgers falter, Colorado has climbed to within six games of the first-place D-Backs and moved to within three games of second-place Los Angeles -- suddenly evoking memories of last September, when Colorado won 14 of 15 to storm into the playoffs.
• The Los Angeles Angels' quest to add another shortstop to back up Erick Aybar (Maicer Izturis is finished for the season) has brought general manager Tony Reagins' attention to Toronto (John McDonald, David Eckstein and Marco Scutaro), among other places.
• One major league scout's take on McDonald: "He can't hit, but he can play shortstop as good as anybody." And on Eckstein: "He's done, to me. He can't play anymore. His hits are soft and he can't run anymore."
• Word is that former Cleveland GM John Hart has phoned Seattle and informed the Mariners that he'd like to come out of retirement and run a team again. Hart currently is working as a consultant for the Rangers.