D-backs manager Lovullo ready to see team grow from playoff experience
After winning 93 games this season and having great success against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the regular season, it was hard to anticipate a sweep for the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS.
This led to questions of how the D-backs wound up with that result, and the team’s lack of playoff experience was one of them.
Despite that, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo did not pick up any vibes from his team that would have lead to him questioning their inexperience in the postseason.
“Everybody has been asking me that question about the possibility of the guys not being ready or maybe looking a little glossy-eyed because it’s their first time in the playoffs,” Lovullo said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo. “I go back and try to remember some of the expressions and conversations that I had and everything was extremely normal. These guys I thought were prepared and ready and the Wild Card Game takes a little bit out of you.”
The D-backs did win the NL Wild Card Game against the Colorado Rockies, but the team looked different in the next round of the postseason.
They only held a lead against the Dodgers for three innings throughout the series and never had a lead beyond the fourth inning in the entirety of the series.
Lovullo wants to use it as a learning experience for his team moving forward.
“I’ll tell you this: October baseball is like nothing these guys have ever experienced,” Lovullo said. “Now they have touched it they can learn and grow and understand what it takes to play and perform in this environment.”
It was a six-year gap since the last time the D-backs made the postseason and Lovullo does not intend for the next playoff appearance to be as long.
The team will have major offseason decisions to make, but the manager believes that building a consistent winning ball club starts with the club’s culture.
“There is a culture we are trying to build here and I think it’s been established,” Lovullo said. “Everybody knows what it takes to fit into this culture inside the walls of this sacred clubhouse downstairs of Chase Field. Inside of being a consistent winner, it’s the whole process that is taking process right now as we speak. “
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