CHICAGO -- Each day they show up, seemingly with a positive attitude, ready to go to work.
Most days for the D-backs, though, have ended in the frustration of another loss.
Tuesday night their slide continued as they dropped a 9-2 decision to the Cubs at chilly Wrigley Field.
The loss was the fourth in a row for the D-backs, who have now dropped 10 of their last 11 games and are 5-18, the worst mark in the Majors.
And for the first time this year it appeared that the frustration was reaching the boiling point.
"I sense a little bit more frustration in here than I have all year," veteran third baseman Eric Chavez said in a quiet clubhouse. "I can feel it in here tonight. It's something that I haven't felt before. It's getting tougher. It really is. But we've done a really good job of staying together and really battling every day, but it's frustrating. Losing [stinks]."
The D-backs have tried all kinds of different ways to snap out of what is now a three-week funk, but the answer has proven to be elusive.
"Talk is really cheap at this point," Chavez said. "We need some performances on the field. We've had probably more team meetings and people saying stuff more than I've ever been a part of, which is all great, but we need some guys to step up and have some big days and try to get it rolling in the right direction. Everybody's always got something really good to say, but the only thing that matters right now is performance on the field. We're not getting it. The words are there, the spirit has been there, but it's definitely getting tougher each day we do this."
Especially when each day seems to follow a similar script: A mistake happens and it opens the door for a big inning by the opposition.
In this case it was an error by Martin Prado, who was making a rare start at second base that gave the Cubs an opening in the fifth.
The Cubs were leading 1-0 at that point and after the error they had runners on first and third with one out.
Nate Schierholtz then hit a sacrifice fly to score Luis Valbuena to put Chicago up, 2-0.
And starter Brandon McCarthy could not stop the bleeding as a single off the bat of Starlin Castro put runners on first and second and Mike Olt delivered the dagger with a three-run homer to right to give the Cubs a 5-0 lead.
"That's my job there after the error to get out of that inning and make sure we get back in the dugout and minimize any damage there, and I was one pitch away from doing that," McCarthy said. "But again that's just kind of how it's been going. Even when we've had a chance to get past something, it just hasn't worked out for whatever reason."
The D-backs offense looked to be in hibernation, which was fitting given a wind chill temperature that dropped into the 30s during the game.
The D-backs could only muster a solo homer by Tuffy Gosewisch off Chicago's Jason Hammel, who allowed just four hits over seven innings to improve to 3-1, and a ninth-inning RBI single from Paul Goldschmidt.
"We didn't mount any pressure again offensively," said manager Kirk Gibson, who had to answer questions about his job status on his radio show Tuesday afternoon.
With the Cubs entering this series with a 5-12 record and having dropped six of seven games, it seemed like an opportunity for the D-backs to begin to turn their season around.
But at this point, it doesn't seem to matter whether it's the 1962 Mets or the 1927 Yankees they're facing.
"There's not even an opponent in the other dugout, to be honest with you," Chavez said. "We're battling ourselves. Regardless of who we're playing, we've got to play better. We've kind of used up all the words in our vocabulary in our meetings, but performance is all that counts at this point. Even teams that I've lost on, we've been competitive. We haven't even been competitive this year. It's been tough. I've never seen anything like it."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.