Derrick Hall staying optimistic after Diamondbacks battered by Dodgers

Aug 31, 2023, 11:07 AM

Derrick Hall...

Arizona Diamondbacks Derrick Hall at Chase Field Thursday, March 30, 2023, in Phoenix. (Arizona Sports/Alex Weiner)

(Arizona Sports/Alex Weiner)

The Arizona Diamondbacks (69-65) landed in Los Angeles on Monday riding on sheer momentum.

They’d won 12 of their last 15 games and were ready to give the NL West-leading Dodgers (83-49) a run for their money.

Needless to say, the Dodgers were unfazed.

They battered the Diamondbacks, exposing their flaws and sending Arizona into the losing column in a three-game sweep.

Although the Dodgers stunned the Diamondbacks, team president and CEO Derrick Hall expressed his optimism going into September only 0.5 games back in the NL Wild Card race.

“Rather than being ho-hum or upset right now, I’m trying to be half-full and look at this and say, ‘Here we are Sept. 1, and we’re right in it,'” Hall told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Thursday. “It’s going to be a great month … Let’s look past this series and chalk it up to (the Dodgers) had a historic month of August.”

Los Angeles is 24-4 this month in August with a game to go. The .857 winning percentage would be a club record, and the Dodgers already set a Los Angeles-era record for wins in a month.

The Diamondbacks sent pitchers Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly for the first two games of the set, only for them to give up 13 earned runs over 10.1 innings combined.

Brandon Pfaadt, who had been pitching better as of late, allowed five earned runs in four innings in the third game of the series.

After the recorded losses, Gallen is now 14-6 with a 3.32 ERA while Kelly is 10-6 with a 3.31 ERA. Both are still in contention for the NL Cy Young Award, an honor that hasn’t been awarded to a Diamondback since Brandon Webb earned it in 2008.

“We’re not going to win every game, (and) they’re not going to have their best stuff every night,” Hall said. “I would take those two at the top of our rotation in any two-out-of-three series. They have so much confidence and so does the team in them … they’re both Cy Young contenders and we’re lucky to have them.”

The team has notable remaining matchups against the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees and Houston Astros. Given their position in the playoff race, the team can’t afford a September skid with numerous teams in the mix.

The current wild card spots are held by the Philadelphia Phillies (74-59), Chicago Cubs (71-62) and San Francisco Giants (69-64), with the Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds (69-66) and Miami Marlins (66-67) all within three games of a spot.

“We have had so many streaks and ups and downs. We did go through that tough stretch of six weeks … and I do believe we got through that,” Hall said. “We’ve all circled this part of the calendar saying, ‘This is going to be the biggest challenge.’ We control our own destiny in a way … it’s going to be exciting.”

The Diamondbacks will look to bounce back this weekend at Chase Field against the AL East-leading Orioles (83-50).

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