D-backs keeping ‘win today’ goal following Dodgers’ sweep
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks enter a fresh series against the Atlanta Braves Monday with the clear goal of leaving a difficult weekend behind them.
The Los Angeles Dodgers continued their dominance of Arizona with a second straight four-game sweep against their NL West foes from Thursday through Sunday. The Dodgers have won 33 of their last 40 games against Arizona, but that’s not relevant to the team on Monday.
“You watch video, you learn from what you could have done better and you show up the next day and you play a new ballgame,” third baseman Josh Rojas said Sunday.
The D-backs rebounded with five wins in six games after their previous series loss against L.A., with three wins against the Chicago Cubs and two versus the Kansas City Royals.
Manager Torey Lovullo is counting on his team’s resilience to turn the page again.
“This team is resilient, and I know I’ve been using that same word a lot,” Lovullo said Monday. “They give a focused effort every single time. It’s needed.
“This team believes they can win every game they play without looking beyond today. So that’ll be our mindset.”
The D-backs lost Game 1 against Los Angeles, 14-1, but each of the succeeding three contests were decided by two or fewer runs.
Los Angeles was the better team in regards to timely hitting, and Lovullo pointed to his team chasing too many pitches on Sunday, specifically.
“It’s always a tough series against them, but the last three games … we battled there until the end,” starting pitcher Zach Davies said. “We’ll play them again later on in the season, and hopefully, we can turn those things around.”
Lovullo said that moral victories are nice, but they are not wins.
The D-backs are 13-6 this month against non-Dodgers opponents, and Lovullo made it clear that his team needs the same approach regardless of who it plays.
“When you don’t win a game, it’s frustrating,” Lovullo said. “That’s what we’re here to do.”
The Dodgers are not on Arizona’s slate again until Sept. 12.
The D-backs have three games against the defending World Series champion Braves before hitting the road to face the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies.
D-backs ace Zac Gallen takes the bump Monday against Atlanta’s Spencer Strider.
Catcher/outfielder Daulton Varsho is back in the starting lineup Monday after a scapula contusion kept him out of it for two games. He pinch-hit on Sunday, and Lovullo is targeting Tuesday for Varsho to return to catching.
Outfielder Jordan Luplow continues to work through a sore foot, but he will likely be available off the bench Monday, per Lovullo.
Shortstop Nick Ahmed, who is on the 10-day injured list, received five at-bats Monday as he continues building up for a return.
Catcher Carson Kelly is still working in the cages. His oblique strain is progressing slowly, per Lovullo, and he will get live at-bats Saturday.
Pitcher Luke Weaver was moved to the 60-day injured list this past weekend, and he will throw a bullpen Tuesday.
“We’re going to try and get him out on an assignment, as well,” Lovullo said.
First pitch on Monday is at 5:10 p.m. Tune in on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.