Lovullo: D-backs looking for more stability in starting rotation with Dallas Keuchel
It was almost a disastrous weekend for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who entered Sunday’s game against the Detroit Tigers needing a win or they would be swept by a team that came to the Valley with a 26-43 record.
Luckily for Arizona, the bats woke up to the tune of an 11-7 victory and they may have found the missing piece to its a starting rotation.
A southpaw at that, the D-backs were helped Sunday on the mound by former American League Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, who made his first start with the team after signing to a minor league deal on June 7.
Making his first big league start in a month, Keuchel only worked 4.1 innings due to a climbing pitch count.
He gave up four runs on six hits, but D-backs manager Torey Lovullo expects the veteran lefty to continue to knock the rust off.
“He was admittedly nervous,” Lovullo said as guest on Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo Tuesday. “I don’t think we saw him at his best.”
Keuchel added seven strikeouts but had some command issues, walking three batters.
After his outing Sunday, Lovullo said Keuchel will get another start in the No. 5 spot in the D-backs starting rotation.
“I think he knew coming in that he would have to come out and continue to throw the ball the way he had been at ACL (rookie affiliate) and I feel like he did enough,” said the D-backs’ skipper. “He was two outs away from potentially getting a win.”
Now committing to Keuchel in the last spot of the rotation, Lovullo stressed that Arizona needs whoever is in that spot to step up.
He said knowing the kind of veteran Keuchel is, a former World Series champion and Cy Young winner, he’s confident the lefty will continue to improve on the mound.
“He executed the game plan, struck a lot of guys out, I think he will just get better for us,” Lovullo told reporters Tuesday.
The D-backs play host the San Diego Padres on Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. with coverage on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.