Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 9/29/12
PHOENIX The Diamondbacks were playing two teams Friday, the Cardinals and the Cubs, and only the Cardinals refused to cooperate. By the time the D-backs took the field, they were eight runs down. Two time zones east, St. Louis removed what little suspense remained from the final week of the regular season by scoring nine runs in the first two innings against Washington, using that start to nail down the final NL wild-card berth and eliminate the defending NL West champion D-backs while they batted in the last of the fifth inning. Moments later, Aaron Hill doubled in a run and Justin Upton followed with a two-run home run and a 5-2 lead, lifting Ian Kennedy to his 15th victory in an 8-3 win over the Cubs at Chase Field. The D-backs entered their final homestand with an almost impossible hill to climb, six games behind the Cardinals with six games to play, but that did not make it any easier to confront an offseason that begins Thursday. "When it is all said and done, the best teams are going to go to the playoffs. I have no problem saying that," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We weren't good enough to be one of those teams this year. It wasn't from a lack of effort. You can dissect it a million different ways. It didn't work out the way we wanted it to. I think we did it the right way. I wish we were the second wild card, but we're not. You have to earn it. We weren't good enough. They were better than us. They will go. "We'll watch, we'll learn and we'll reload." After running away with the NL West last season, the D-backs (79-78) were as many as four games over .500 only four times this season, and three of those were in the first two weeks, before Chris Young's debilitating shoulder injury and Daniel Hudson's season-ending elbow injury. "We've had our opportunities to put ourselves in a better position. The reality is, we've put ourselves in a very poor position. That's disappointing, and we'll analyze why and what we can do," Gibson said. "I felt a hell of a lot better at this time last year than I do now." The players believe they were done in by a general lack of consistency. "We knew we were a good team all year. We're a very talented team. We just never put it together. Sometimes that happens. We never put together that really strong run. You go out there and battle every night. Sometimes the chips don't fall your way. We learn from it," Upton said. "We went through some hot streaks and some cold streaks. There were times when we hit but we didn't pitch, and times when we pitched but didn't hit," Kennedy said. "We weren't in synch. But then there were some times we were hot and we could battle through those times. It didn't feel like we were as consistent as in the past, pitching and hitting. It is all of us to blame for that." Kennedy, fighting the flu that he felt on every delivery, went 5 23 innings on adrenaline to become the fourth pitcher in D-backs' history to win at least 15 games in two straight seasons. Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and Brandon Webb are the others. Kennedy walked six, but relievers Matt Albers, Matt Lindstrom, David Hernandez and J.J. Putz shut the Cubs down. "He's gassed. Threw his heart out. You have to appreciate that. He's the guy taking the hill, setting the tone for us. He wants it. How can we not want it?" Gibson said. The Cardinals' clinching did not affect the D-backs' play on the field. Hill's double off Chicago starter Travis Wood drove in Kennedy, who walked twice, for a 3-2 lead. Upton's homer, his 16th made it 5-2. Adam Eaton had three hits, Hill and Upton had two, and Cody Ransom homered. "You don't go out there and give up. We're not going to roll over these last five games. We know that we're done on Wednesday, but we'll go out and play the game right every time. You play the game until the end of the season," Upton said. The D-backs consider the final five geams of the season a sign of character. "We are all disappointed, OK? But the game is supposed to be fun. Let's go out there and have fun and play the way it is supposed to be played," Gibson said. "We're going to try to win as many games as we can. That's how you're supposed to do it. You have a push to see how good you were this year. It's not, 'You're eliminated and now we just throw it in.' We don't operate it that way." Follow Jack Magruder on Twitter
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Kim Mulkey gives awful post-game speech about Baylor scandal

Bill Walton goes shirtless during ESPN broadcast to the dismay of one woman

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker