D-backs’ Lovullo: Team is ‘hammering out’ road offensive issues
Remember last season when the Arizona Diamondbacks couldn’t do much of anything right at home?
They sure don’t.
The D-backs have made Chase Field one of the more difficult visiting stadiums in baseball early in 2017. Arizona has notched a 12-5 record at home (second-best in MLB) so far, outscoring opponents by 61 runs in the process.
This year, the issue has been on the road, and specifically, the offense. The D-backs are 6-10 away from Phoenix, and have been outscored by 40 runs.
First-year manager Torey Lovullo hasn’t been able to completely diagnose his club’s road issues.
“I can’t, I wish I could,” Lovullo told Burns and Gambo Tuesday on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station. “We’ve got a great offensive team. We’ve got a diverse offensive team. We can outslug you and score 10 runs. We can outpoint you and finesse you with a couple of base hits and stolen bases, but it just wasn’t clicking this road trip.”
That’s an understatement. After a recent 5-5 homestand during which Arizona averaged 6.2 runs per contest, their bats went cold during a six-game trip to Washington and Colorado. The D-backs hit just .195 (37-for-190) as a team, averaged just three runs per game and, most importantly, went 2-4.
“We’re working on it right now, the boys are hammering away to try and get it worked out,” Lovullo said. “This group is an easy group to bet on. I think good things are on the way.”
The team’s season-long home/road splits are startling. Arizona is hitting a hefty .301 with 110 runs scored and an OPS of .869 in 17 games at Chase Field. They’re hitting .205 with 49 runs scored and OPS of .608 in 16 games as visitors.
“I can give excuses, like it might not be a big sample size,” Lovullo said. “But, there’s a hundred-point difference, so there’s something there, of course. So maybe we’ve got to address that.
“But I know these guys are still maturing, growing, learning day-by-day and going on the road is a little bit of a challenge for a young team. And we’re not necessarily a young, inexperienced team. It’s just that we’re so good at home that when you’re having a huge drop-off like we are, with a hundred-point difference, it stands out.”