Torey Lovullo reflects on D-backs’ poor run of form in wild card race
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo doesn’t try and make things too complicated when he discusses the marathon that is a MLB season.
“That’s just baseball” is one you’ll hear from him often and the season being a “day-by-day” process is another.
He’s not wrong. But when 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo asked him Tuesday about what went wrong on the D-backs’ run of losing seven out of eight that likely cost them a chance at making the playoffs, he was able to make the same distinction as everyone else.
“Sometimes I can give that description and say it’s just baseball and you can’t predict things and wild things happen and certain plays happen but I think the biggest inconsistency over this time has been what we had as far as our offensive expectations,” he said. “Our offense is a very, very potent offense, and for a 7-10 day period of time, it hasn’t done what it’s supposed to do.”
Prior to Sept. 8 when that run of losing began, the D-backs were averaging 5.2 runs a game, a top-10 mark in baseball.
Arizona proceeded to score 12 runs in those eight games. And while it doesn’t have to get more complex than that, Lovullo made the point that it is.
“When one part of your function breaks down, it’s the machine that moves together,” he said. “It’s offense, defense, it’s pitching, it’s baserunning — when it goes the way it’s supposed to, you can see the special things we can do. We can run off 11 of 12.
“But when it doesn’t, and something as important as the offense takes a step backwards, this is what happens and it’s frustrating. I think the one thing that is going on here is everybody is trying to hit a five-run home run with nobody on-base and that just does not happen in this game.”
After a run that got them within 1.5 games of the last wild card spot, they are now 5.5 back with 11 games left in the season.
So it’s easy to reflect on the season as a whole as it winds down, and while Lovullo isn’t there yet, he knows that the process of looking back is going to be about making them better in the future.
“I think the season’s been successful but I’m not gonna think about that until the end of the year,” he said. “I think the season has been a failure in certain areas as well. And I’m gonna focus on those when I can in the offseason to make sure we don’t walk down these same roads again next year.”