It’s time for the real Arizona Diamondbacks to show up
LOS ANGELES — D-backs manager Torey Lovullo wasn’t very happy with the way his team opened the National League Division Series Friday night in a 9-5 loss to the Dodgers.
After the Game 1 loss, Lovullo admitted as much.
“We didn’t have a great game, that wasn’t a typical Arizona Diamondback night,” he said. “I just want our guys to go out there and be themselves and see where that lands us.”
To quote Judge Elihu Smails, played by the late, great Ted Knight, from the movie Caddyshack, “well, we’re waiting.”
The Diamondbacks looked listless and at times, lost, in an 8-5 Game 2 defeat Saturday night.
Starting pitcher Robbie Ray wasn’t himself, as many D-backs fans expected considering Ray’s workload over the last seven days. The lefty All-Star was effectively wild at first, then just wild in an outing that lasted just 4.1 innings.
The bullpen struggled. Rookie right-hander Jimmie Sherfy, who didn’t give up a run in 11 late-season relief apperances, inherited trouble in the fifth inning and folded up, allowing three hits and three runs without recording an out.
“I felt like Jimmie was ready for that challenge,” Lovullo said. “He’s been very good in that situation throughout the course of the back end of the year.”
J.D. Martinez missed a cutoff man that led to an extra base for the Dodgers, who later cashed in. Ketel Marte had a costly error, squashing some late game momentum supplied by a Brandon Drury three-run pinch-hit home run that pulled Arizona within two runs.
Sure, the D-backs are wearing the same Sedona Red (and gray and teal) uniforms they’ve worn all season long, but this team just looks different. They’re certainly playing differently.
When the Diamondbacks shocked the baseball world and signed Zack Greinke to a massive $206.5 million contract in December of 2015, peopled scoffed. Then they flat-out guffawed through a lost 2016 season during which the former Cy Young winner looked downright average at times.
Greinke was great throughout most of 2017, but those same critics got another opportunity to roll around on the floor Wednesday after he exited the Wild Card game in the fourth inning.
Now he has a chance to finally quiet that crowd Monday night in Phoenix. This is what the D-backs got him for.
“He’s been that guy for us all year long,” Lovullo said. “We’ve built around him. He set the pace for the entire pitching staff all year long.
“So if you’ve got to pick one guy to stop this situation we’re in, I think we’ve found the right guy in Zack Greinke.”
For the D-backs to be the team they were from April to September, Lovullo better hope so.
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