D-backs’ Derrick Hall: Torey Lovullo’s job not in jeopardy in down year
The Arizona Diamondbacks are experiencing one of their worst stretches in franchise history.
With Wednesday night’s extra-inning loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team has lost 18 of their last 20 games. The losing skid equates to the worst in franchise history over that stretch of time.
The last two games have only added to the dark times, with Arizona losing back-to-back, extra-inning outings to the Dodgers.
When it rains, it pours.
But though the team is on its heels trying to figure out how to get back into the win column, D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall knows manager Torey Lovullo is doing all he can to turn the tide.
Joining Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Thursday, Hall reiterated his trust in Lovullo as well as the rest of the D-backs coaching staff and players.
“No, it’s not,” Hall said when asking if Lovullo’s job was in jeopardy. “Obviously, you have to look at the whole scope of work and we’ve seen what kind of manager he is. This is not his fault and I think that the players feel terrible. They know they should be playing better, we all do, and we’re trying to find answers. Torey’s trying to find answers. He’s working hard, his staff is working hard, these players are working hard.
“The beauty is they haven’t given up. They haven’t said, ‘OK, we don’t have a chance this year. Let’s pack it in.’ I have not seen that. … When you’re going out there every day and the last three weeks you’ve lost nearly every game that’s tough. That’s a tough pill to swallow. But I don’t think you can place it on the manager, you can’t place it on the players, you can’t place it on the coaches. It’s collective and it’s up to all of us to find answers and turn the page and get a winning product out there for next season as quickly as possible and hopefully the rest of this season.”
Entering play Thursday, the D-backs (15-29) sit tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox for the worst winning percentage (.341) in Major League Baseball. Arizona is 7.0 games back from the NL Wild Card with 16 games remaining on the schedule.
The D-backs’ offense has been an issue for most of the year, ranking 28th in the league in OBP (.303), 26th in home runs (38) and 22nd in RBIs (172) and runs scored (180).
To make matters worse, the team is now without second baseman and offensive spark Ketel Marte for some of the final stretch after he was placed on the 10-day injured list with left wrist inflammation.
The bats have been quiet but there has been a bright spot when looking at the team’s pitching. Madison Bumgarner may not bet having the inaugural year with the team that he or anyone else thought he would, but there have been others who have stepped up on the mound, Zac Gallen being one of them.
Gallen is sporting a 2.29 ERA through nine starts this season to go along with a 0.98 WHIP. In 55.0 innings pitched, Gallen has allowed 37 hits and 14 earned runs. He’s struck out a team-high 60 batters and walked just 17 on his way to a new MLB record of starts allowing three or fewer runs to start a career.
“The beauty is I still get excited each day before a game starts,” Hall said. “You try to look for the positives. It’s been difficult. It’s like what Torey said after the game, ‘It’s hard to do what we’ve done.’ To believe we lost 18 of our last 20 is just mind boggling with a team that has a lot more talent than that.
“Now granted, it’s given us an opportunity to look at some young kids and I’m really proud of the pitching performances we’ve seen. If there is a silver lining it’s the fact that these young pitchers have had the chance to prove themselves.”