Quiet bats doom Diamondbacks for 7th straight loss
PHOENIX – The opportunity is there for Alex Young. It’s tough to impress when you’re facing Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado though.
That duo combined to go 4-for-9 with two RBIs and four runs scored as the Colorado Rockies sent the Diamondbacks to their seventh straight loss on Tuesday night, by a final of 5-4 at Chase Field. In fairness to Young, only three of the hits by Story and Arenado came against him.
“We’ve got to flip the page,” Torey Lovullo said. “We’ve got to get ready for tomorrow. Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. We’ve got to find a way out of this. And I say this all the time, these guys are going to fight together and dig in together. That’s one of the characteristics we have here, so we’ve got to find a way out of it tomorrow.”
With Merrill Kelly landing on the injured list and Madison Bumgarner yet to return, Arizona needs starting pitchers. And Young would seem to be the logical first choice, given how he performed as a rookie last year.
Not to mention the fact that Robbie Ray has struggled mightily so far, and Luke Weaver looked shaky until his last two starts. Really only Zac Gallen has been healthy and reliable up to this point, so, yeah, the opportunity is there for Young to grab a spot in the rotation.
He wasn’t bad in this one, just sort of average.
The 26-year old lefty threw mostly curves and sinkers (23 each, out of his 90 total pitches), allowing three earned runs on five hits while striking out five over five innings. Most of the damage was done early, though, when Colorado pushed two runs across the plate in the first with a pair of doubles, a triple and a walk. From there, Young settled down and gave up just one more run over the next four innings.
The issue for Arizona, yet again, was finding ways to produce offense. Christian Walker and Jon Jay each homered in the second, but no one was on base either time. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the Diamondbacks’ last six home runs – dating all the way back to Aug. 18 — have been solo shots.
“There were some positives that we’re going to draw on,” Lovullo explained. “That we feel like we’re going to teach and push and hopefully get this thing turned around offensively, and get to that level of performance that we’re capable of.”
The bats are a pretty clear problem for a team that has now amassed a total of just 12 runs during this seven-game skid. As are the 12 guys they left on base Tuesday night. That became painfully apparent when Ketel Marte flew out to deep right with the bases loaded in the fourth, and when Arizona failed to bring Nick Ahmed home from third with just one out in the sixth.
The most glaring missed opportunity, however, came when Ahmed struck out with the bases loaded to end the game.
With the loss, the D-backs are now 13-18 on the season. The trade deadline is less than a week away, so it’s worth pointing out that eight teams in each league make the playoffs this year instead of the usual five. But Lovullo’s group is currently sitting 11th in the NL.
“The uniqueness of this season has given us the ability to make excuses for one thing or another,” Lovullo pointed out. “Or press on and say ‘we don’t have a lot of time’ or whatever it is – and I’ve been guilty of all those things too – the bottom line is we’ve got time. We get on a run, and we play Diamondback baseball, we’re going to get to where we need to get to.”
-Lovullo said Kelly had a small procedure to insert a catheter and help dissolve a small blood clot in his right shoulder on Tuesday. There’s no timetable for his return right now.
-Bumgarner has a bullpen session at 1 p.m. on Wednesday as he works his way back from a back strain.
-The team unveiled David Peralta Field in Wickenburg. It’s the 43rd “Diamonds Back” field.