Diamondbacks bench several starters, not ‘throwing in the towel’

Sep 19, 2018, 4:49 PM | Updated: 9:55 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo watches his team play the Atlanta Braves during the seco...

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo watches his team play the Atlanta Braves during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept 9, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

PHOENIX — There was an unmistakable deviation from the Diamondbacks’ typical lineup on Wednesday in the team’s series finale against the Cubs.

Paul Goldschmidt, Eduardo Escobar, A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Steven Souza Jr. were missing from the starting nine.

Patrick Kivlehan (four games played, 1-for-3 in 2018), Ildemaro Vargas (20 career games played) and Christian Walker (7-for-41 this season) were in the lineup.

The move comes a day after the D-backs lost 9-1 to the Cubs to lose the home series, fell to six games out of first place and took their 13th loss in 17 September games.

“I know when you look at the lineup today, you’re probably thinking like we’re throwing in the towel and I want to get a look at guys, that’s not the case at all. That’s not it at all,” manager Torey Louvllo said. “If-and-when something does happen like that, yeah, certainly we may take guys off the field and get a different look at certain guys.”

Arizona had scored a combined two runs over the last two games entering Wednesday, both of them losses at the hands of the first-place Chicago Cubs at Chase Field. The D-backs came to the ballpark looking to avoid a sweep with Robbie Ray on the mound against Cole Hamels.

“What’s been happening over the past several days has not been working, and I feel like it’s my job to pay attention to certain things and the needs of this team daily to win a baseball game,” Lovullo said. “I talk about maybe adjusting some cards in my hand every once in a while, today I just shuffled the deck.”

Lovullo said the changes were not to give rest to the starters, per se.

“I just felt like things that have been going on for the past couple days haven’t been going great. I wanted to switch it up and see what that looked like,” Lovullo said. “I’m excited for the guys that are getting the opportunity to play, I know they work hard for this type of moment, they’re prepared, and hopefully it will yield good results.”

The D-backs’ elimination number is five, with 10 games to go, including Wednesday. For each win by the first-place team (currently the Dodgers) or each loss by the D-backs, the elimination number decreases by one, until Arizona is mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.

“I don’t think we’re at that point yet where we’re turning the page. Like I said last night: We’ve still got a foot in this race,” Lovullo said. “This was just my way of saying, ‘Let’s go out and perform, try to win a game, score some runs and hold them down.'”

Penguin Air


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Diamondbacks

Tommy Henry #47 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a first inning pitch against the Pittsburgh Pi...
Kellan Olson

D-backs starting pitching stays hot, Henry’s first W takes down Pirates

Diamondbacks rookie Tommy Henry continued the strong run of form from the team's starting pitching lately in a win over the Pirates.
1 day ago
Pittsburgh Pirates' Rodolfo Castro, left, watches along with Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Bar...
Haboob Blog

Pirates’ Rodolfo Castro loses phone while sliding into 3rd base at Chase Field

Now here's something you don't see very often on the diamond: a cell phone popping out of a players back pocket mid-game.
1 day ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' Cooper Hummel dives in vain for a double hit by Colorado Rockies' Connor Joe ...
Arizona Sports

Diamondbacks recall OF Cooper Hummel, option C Jose Herrera

The Diamondbacks called up Cooper Hummel from Triple-A and said they optioned backup catcher Jose Herrera to the minor league squad.
1 day ago
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the f...
Arizona Sports

Zac Gallen’s terrific outing propels Diamondbacks over Pirates

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen dominated the Pirates with seven efficient innings on Monday at Chase Field.
2 days ago
Edwin Uceta #66 of the Arizona Diamondbacks looks on after an error scored Mookie Betts #50 of the ...
Arizona Sports

D-backs recall RHP Edwin Uceta from Triple-A Reno, place LHP Kyle Nelson on IL

The D-backs on Monday placed LHP Kyle Nelson on the 15-day injured list and recalled RHP Edwin Uceta from Triple-A Reno.
2 days ago
Mark Melancon #34 and Jose Herrera #36 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrate a 6-4 win against the ...
Jake Anderson

Mark Melancon picks up save, D-backs rally late to win series over Rockies

Mark Melancon picked up his 15th save of the season as the D-backs rallied to beat the Rockies 6-4 on Sunday to clinch the series victory.
3 days ago
Diamondbacks bench several starters, not ‘throwing in the towel’