PHOENIX -- The days in the season are dwindling and the D-backs' deficit in the standings is growing. It's not a good combination.On Monday night, the third-place D-backs managed just three hits in 8 2/3 innings against Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks as they fell, 5-1, at Chase Field and five
PHOENIX -- The days in the season are dwindling and the D-backs' deficit in the standings is growing. It's not a good combination.
On Monday night, the third-place D-backs managed just three hits in 8 2/3 innings against Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks as they fell, 5-1, at Chase Field and five games back in the National League West with 11 games left on the schedule.
"Just try to come out and get a win tomorrow and not look too far ahead and not look at the standings," D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said of the club's mindset. "It's out of our control. Our control is just coming out and playing hard tomorrow and try to get a win."
Can the D-backs still rally to make it to the postseason for a second straight year? Mathematically, yes, but that would take an amazing finish, and they've shown no sign of that, having lost 10 of their last 12 and going 4-12 after opening September leading the National League West.
After this three-game series with the Cubs, the D-backs host the Rockies and Dodgers for three games each before finishing up the season with a three-game set in San Diego.
"It's hard to do, but they've done it all year long," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said of his players battling the final two weeks. "I feel strongly that they're going to come out ready to go and execute a game plan to the best of their ability tomorrow. This is a grinding time here. There's no doubt about it.
"We knew this time of the year we were going to have to play our best baseball, and unfortunately we're not. But I think we have over 10 games left and we still have life, and I want these guys to know that I believe in them. They believe in themselves, as well, I'm sure."
Left-hander Patrick Corbin (11-6) pitched well in allowing three runs over six innings, but he was no match for Hendricks (12-11) Corbin did, however, catch the eye of Cubs manager Joe Maddon.
"Their guy is outstanding," Maddon said of Corbin. "[Cubs GM] Theo [Epstein] and I were talking and I said, 'I never saw [Steve] Carlton in person, but it's a very similar kind of method -- fastball low and then the breaking ball off of it. He throws it into lanes under hitters.'
"We were fortunate to get to him. Anything that didn't look right in the beginning is because their guy is that good. I don't know how old he is. He'll be good for a while. That's one of your best left-handed pitchers in baseball right there."
Hendricks took a one-hit shutout into the ninth before A.J. Pollock led off with a home run to right-center. Maddon called on Justin Wilson after Goldschmidt's two-out single.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
So close: Scoring opportunities against Hendricks were almost non-existent, but the D-backs had one chance in the fourth inning, when Eduardo Escobar doubled with one out and Goldschmidt drew a two-out walk. That brought Daniel Descalso to the plate, and he hit a deep drive to center field that somehow just missed the overhang and landed in Albert Almora Jr.'s glove.
"We built a little bit of an inning right there," Lovullo said. "Daniel got his hands on a pitch and did his job and drove it as far as you can drive it without hitting it out of the ballpark. It seems like we can't really catch a break."
The game ended when Goldschmidt was thrown out trying to steal second, an unusual move with two outs in the ninth and the D-backs trailing by four runs.
"They weren't holding me on, obviously, and just was going to go into second," Goldschmidt said. "I think they knew what I was going to do, set me up and the guy was quick to home and [catcher Willson] Contreras can throw as good as anyone and they got me right there. It was a good play by them and a mistake on my part, 100 percent, and I'll be ready for it the next time, hopefully."
The D-backs will start Matt Andriese (0-1, 7.31 ERA) at 6:40 MST on Tuesday night as they continue this three-game set against the Cubs. The right-hander is taking the rotation spot of Clay Buchholz, who is out for the year with a strained flexor tendon. Andriese was acquired from the Rays just before the July 31 Trade Deadline. Left-hander Mike Montgomery (4-5, 3.87) will start for the Cubs.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.