Newly-extended Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo reflects on key moments
Nov 9, 2023, 12:17 PM
(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo is an unapologetically emotional person.
It makes sense that Lovullo was quickly able to find appreciation for the season after its bitter ending; especially after his contract was extended through 2026.
“I’m extremely grateful,” Lovullo said on Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke Thursday morning. The D-backs skipper was appreciative of the front office continuing to back him despite rough stretches as well as the opportunity he got to coach such talented, young players.
Lovullo also reflected on some pivotal moments in the 2023 regular season; one that showed him what this iteration of the D-backs was capable of and one that fueled the postseason run.
In Detroit last June, the Diamondbacks carried a 2-0 series advantage into the third and final game vs. the Detroit Tigers.
A 2-1 D-backs lead after two innings quickly became a 5-2 Tigers lead after four, and the Diamondbacks’ offense stayed quiet until the eighth inning. Still trailing by two going into the ninth, the D-backs created some chaos.
Corbin Carroll hit an RBI single, and with two outs, Christian Walker knocked in an RBI double, scoring two as Detroit committed a fielding error. With a 6-5 lead in hand, Geraldo Perdomo hit an RBI single of his own to bring home Walker, giving Arizona a 7-5 win.
With the series sweep, the D-backs finished their five-game road trip with a spotless 5-0 record, instilling a lot of belief in Lovullo as the team earned what was at the time their largest lead in the division, 3.5 games up.
“That’s when I felt like this team was ready to take the next step,” Lovullo explained.
The skipper also pointed to the 13-inning epic at Chase Field vs. the Chicago Cubs in Game 150 where the D-backs were down to their final strike on their final out down 5-6 with runners on the corners.
Emmanuel Rivera hit an infield single, bringing Tommy Pham home and Gabriel Moreno to the plate with a chance to walk it off.
Moreno was down to the final strike in his at-bat before hitting a single to bring home Evan Longoria for the win. The Diamondbacks would go on to sweep that series after winning three-out-of-four vs. the Cubs in Chicago just a week earlier.
“I felt like the loser of that game was gonna slide. The winner of that game was gonna take off,” Lovullo said, also raving about the celebration in the clubhouse that followed. “That was a proud parent moment where I just sat back and enjoyed that celebration.”
The D-backs won six of their next eight games and clinched a playoff spot just a few days after that stretch, sparking the start of their magical run.