PHOENIX -- Boasting a 51-50 record, the D-backs are in the playoff picture, but they aren't exactly where they thought they would be a year after capturing the National League West crown.At this junction last year, the D-backs were 54-47 and on their way to winning seven of their next nine games to move to 12 games over .500 by Aug. 2. But despite not being in as strong of a position, the D-backs aren't wavering from their belief they can make a playoff push. "We have plenty of talent to make a run with the guys we have," infielder Willie Bloomquist said. "They don't have to do anything we're not capable of doing. Obviously we have some ground to make up, but there's quite a bit of time to go." The club entered Sunday's series finale with the Mets trailing the first-place Giants by 4 1/2 games in the division while sitting 5 1/2 games out of a Wild Card spot. "I know we're contenders, there's no question about it," outfielder Chris Young said. "We've gone through some ups and downs, but when it comes down to it, we're still a good team. That doesn't tell anything for the future, though. We can get hot; we can get cold. Before you know it, we can be a game out, or 10 out. It's a matter of us coming together and playing quality baseball." Starting Monday, the D-backs play 13 of 16 games against teams with winning records. "The next few games will be huge for us," second baseman Aaron Hill said. "I think we've been playing pretty well, though, just have to keep it up." Manager Kirk Gibson likes the way his club is looking right now. "I don't have a crystal ball, I know we press for that every day, though," Gibson said. "Guys haven't gotten overly frustrated. I think we're in a good spot. Guys are coming in very businesslike. I feel good."
Towers expects to be busy as Deadline nears
PHOENIX -- Even after bolstering his club's third-base situation Sunday morning by acquiring Chris Johnson from Houston, D-backs executive vice president and general manager Kevin Towers said he's not done looking at moves before Tuesday's Trade Deadline."I plan on being out at Dodger Stadium tomorrow in the working suite, continuing to work the phones," Towers said. Towers added he'll be looking to strengthen the club's pitching if he does make any more trades. "I think you can never have enough pitching," he said. "The teams that win, that go far in the postseason, they have a lot of pitching. I don't think you can have enough arms." As for who would most likely be the players to go in return, Towers hinted at possibly moving an infielder. "The way it is right now, as it stands, it's probably going to be tough to get them all enough at-bats," he said. "But we'll see what happens over the next few days." D-backs shortstop Stephen Drew has been rumored to be on the trading block.
Upton rests after fouling ball off foot
PHOENIX -- A day after fouling a ball off his foot, D-backs outfielder Justin Upton received the day off Sunday against the Mets, but manager Kirk Gibson said the 24-year-old was OK and available off the bench."We're in a huge stretch of games," Gibson said. "It just gives me a chance to give him a day off. I don't expect him to be Superman. I figured he can get off the foot, get as much soreness out of it as he can, but he's certainly available to play today." Gibson went on to add that Upton will play every game in the D-backs' next series, starting Monday against the Dodgers. "He's fine," Gibson said. "Give him a mental day as well as a physical day. I have good interchangeable positions to fill in."
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.