Diamondbacks’ offense musters two runs in loss to Padres
Sep 3, 2018, 9:52 PM | Updated: 9:59 pm
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
PHOENIX — The D-backs were down by four with two runners on in the eighth inning. They had scored one run in the frame already, and Daniel Descalso ripped a ball to the right side. Wil Myers made a sprawling grab to save a base hit and end the inning.
It’s been that kind of week for the Diamondbacks.
The D-backs (74-64) fell to the Padres (55-85) by a score of 6-2 on Labor Day, with San Diego only needing a pair of home runs by one player to take the deciding lead before tacking on two more runs later in the game.
Right-hander Zack Godley took the mound on Monday and, while not twirling a quality start by statistical measure, allowed four runs in what was a reasonable outing by account of the eye test. Godley allowed only two hits, both home runs, to plate four runs. He walked two others and struck out seven. He retired the side in-order three times.
Godley walked a pair of hitters to begin the second inning before Franmil Reyes hit a three-run home run to put San Diego up 3-1. Reyes would hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, accounting for all four of the RBI off the Arizona starter.
“[Reyes] is a really strong person and he put a really good swing on it,” Godley said. “I can’t do anything there but tip my hat to him. The first two hitters of the inning were the biggest mistakes. I didn’t throw a pitch even close to the zone to either one of those guys.”
T.J. McFarland was charged with two more Padres runs in the eighth.
“Zack Godley, I thought, was pretty good tonight. Actually, I thought he was really good outside of one inning where he lost command of some of his pitches and put a couple of guys on via the walk and then gave up that big three-run homer,” manager Torey Lovullo said.
Whether Godley was good or not — and whether the bullpen gave up a pair of late runs, or not — the Diamondbacks’ offense didn’t help matters.
Arizona has not scored more than three runs in a game since Aug. 26, and returning to Chase Field on Monday to start a new homestand did not buck that trend. On the bright side, Arizona had also not given up more than three runs since Aug. 25 before Monday. But the D-backs have just three wins in nine games since then.
“I keep talking about just being patient, remembering certain pitches aren’t meant to be hit, and some are,” Lovullo said. “We’ve just got to apply the basic concepts of going up there and being ourselves, having quality at-bats and handing off to the next guy.
“This is a group of guys — they’ve done it before, they’ve done it this year at times, it just hasn’t obviously been as consistent as we’ve seen it.”
The D-backs scratched just two runs across on Monday — an RBI single by Steven Souza Jr. to score Eduardo Escobar in the first inning, and an RBI double by Goldschmidt in the eighth, also scoring Escobar. Lovullo noted that lineout to end the eighth inning as a big opportunity that didn’t come to fruition.
It was the only time Arizona had significant traffic on the basepaths, outside of leaving runners on the corners in what was a 1-run first inning.
“I know we made a little bit of noise late in the game and looking like we were taking some really good, patient approaches and trying to close that gap, but we lined out to first base and that was really probably the last chance we really had,” Lovullo said.
The loss was the D-backs’ first game after returning from a 2-5 road trip, and Arizona scored nine runs total over a four-game series in Los Angeles. They incurred blown saves on consecutive days to finish the series, something that prompted Lovullo to have to answer questions before the game about his bullpen, in addition to a stagnant offense.
Catcher Alex Avila offered a hypothesis that the D-backs may not have been at their best on Monday because of the rough weekend.
“We had a tough four-game series against LA, physically and mentally,” he said. “I think today was kind of, you’re trying to do a little more because maybe you’re not 100 percent there physically and mentally as a team.”
Either way, the loss is the team’s fourth in a row. A loss on Tuesday would mark the Diamondbacks’ fourth consecutive series loss, as well. Just a week ago, the Diamondbacks were in first place in the NL West, but at the end of play Monday were a game back in the division and two games back in the Wild Card picture.
“Sometimes your talent level, you expect to do better, but you don’t,” Avila said. “That’s what makes this game beautiful. That’s why you have to continue to have a positive mind and continue to move forward with it.
“Obviously it’s not ideal, the way we’ve been swinging the bats. But you can’t let that overtake you and cloud your mind on a daily basis. It’s just a matter of time. There will be a day where we break out of it and we’ll get a W, and hopefully that’s tomorrow.”
–A.J. Pollock had the day off, but pinch hit in the seventh inning for the pitchers’ spot.
–Chris Owings’ pinch hit plate appearance in the fifth inning was Owings’ first appearance at Chase Field since Aug. 2. In the meantime, he has been playing for the Reno Aces after being sent down to Triple-A.
–Godley’s seven strikeouts marked his tenth game in a row with six or more punchouts, tied with Max Scherzer for the second-longest streak by an NL pitcher this year, behind Jacob deGrom.
–Jarrod Dyson (groin) was evaluated by a doctor on Monday after returning to Chase Field from a rehab assignment. He was not activated before the game, and the situation is expected to be revisited tomorrow morning.
–Shelby Miller threw from 100 feet on Monday and has begun throwing breaking balls to his throwing partner, something Miller had been prevented from doing previously. He also will throw a flatground in the coming days. Lovullo cautioned, however, that the activity was “nothing that has been even close to the mound.”
The D-backs have one more in the two-game home series with the Padres before a Wednesday day off. On Thursday, Arizona hosts the Atlanta Braves for four games and then will head out on the road next Monday for seven games against the Rockies and Astros.
Tuesday’s matchup is slated to be left-hander Joey Lucchesi (7-7, 3.59 ERA) against left-hander Robbie Ray (4-2, 4.55 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m.