Diamondbacks crushed by Padres in nightmarish stretch: ‘We’re pretty frustrated’

May 4, 2024, 10:07 PM

Ketel Marte...

Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks is tagged out by Jake Cronenworth #9 of the San Diego Padres after hitting a single and rounding first base during the first inning at Chase Field on May 04, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo was happy with starter Brandon Pfaadt’s outing against the San Diego Padres on Saturday. Everything else at Chase Field was “unsatisfactory,” from the offense, defense, bullpen and baserunning.

The Diamondbacks lost 13-1 after the Padres put up eight runs in the seventh inning, as they have been outscored 28-2 over the last three games. Arizona has gone six straight series without winning a set.

“I sit here every day and I try not to be tone deaf about what I’m seeing and what you guys are seeing,” Lovullo said.

“I know there’s nothing more frustrating than me sitting here and saying everything’s great when it’s not. … You go to work, you have a bad week of work. It happens. We’ve got to find a way to shorten up that gap when we’re not playing good baseball, to find a way to win a game, to grind through tough times, group up and make something good happen.”

From the get-go, the Diamondbacks (14-20) got in their own way against Padres starter Michael King. Jake McCarthy led off with a bunt single and was picked off first, down 1-0.

Ketel Marte singled into right field, but Fernando Tatis Jr. delivered a strike to first base to catch Marte off the bag.

“You can imagine what it did to us, it was very deflating,” Lovullo said.

Pfaadt started to cruise, but shortstop Blaze Alexander’s error on a would-be double play in the fourth inning led to two unearned runs.

The score was still 3-0 through six innings, and Lovullo left Pfaadt in for the fourth time through the order. Reigning NL batting champion Luis Arraez picked up his fourth hit of the game in his Padres debut after a trade with the Marlins, and Fernando Tatis Jr. singled to end Pfaadt’s day. That is when the game got out of hand.

Brandon Hughes recorded an out before allowing four straight hits, including a Jurickson Profar home run. Bryce Jarvis entered, walked a batter and gave up a three-run shot to Ha-Seong Kim.

Pfaadt’s book closed with six innings, five runs (three earned), 10 hits and no walks — he was not thrilled with giving up eight hits to lefties.

San Diego (18-18) piled on a couple runs off Scott McGough in the ninth, and Arizona avoided a second shutout in three games with a Gabriel Moreno RBI single in the bottom half.

Diamondbacks struggling to score

When asked what was most disappointing, Lovullo turned to the offense. Arizona had an 0-for-11 stretch and another 0-for-9 in this game. The Diamondbacks have scored 16 runs over the last nine games.

“I feel like offensively we can have way more consistent at-bats,” Lovullo said. “Step into the box, control the climate of the at-bat and dictate the pace in which the pitcher is going to operate. We’re giving away way too many at-bats.”

“This has been a pretty terrible little stretch for us,” outfielder Corbin Carroll added. “I think everyone’s doing their best to not get too tied up into their results and just make sure we’re focusing on taking away things we can from it and learning from it.”

Staying even-keeled

Lovullo said his players have the care and shrewdness to stay level and evaluate.

Carroll added there are lessons to take away from last season when the D-backs crawled out of a 5-20 stretch to make the postseason.

“We’ve been through this before, every baseball team has,” Carroll said. “I think just not trying to ride those waves. There’s gonna be plenty of things that go our way this season. There’s gonna be times like this, but just try and stay super levelheaded.”

“I think we’re pretty frustrated with ourselves and especially how that game went,” Pfaadt said. “Certainly, we’re a better team, we know that and we’re looking to turn that around.”

Corbin Carroll’s adjustments

Carroll finished 1-for-4 as he continues to seek answers offensively. He said he snapped out of his post-All-Star break funk last year by being more aggressive swinging at “everything.”

“It doesn’t feel like the answer this time,” Carroll said. “There have been some mechanical things I’ve been trying to address. I feel like we’re headed in the right direction and the coaches feel like we’re headed in the right direction.”

He mentioned his swing has gotten too flat, so it is taking work to create better angles. Opposing pitchers are peppering him up-and-in, which has worked thus far.

Diamondbacks’ next game

Ryne Nelson will come off the injured list Sunday to start for the first time since April 18 (elbow contusion), and the D-backs will make roster moves in the morning.

Right-hander Matt Waldron will start for San Diego, so the D-backs will see some knuckleballs.

First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. on 98.7 and the Arizona Sports app. 

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