Aaron Boone: The D-backs can turn around poor season
Jun 29, 2016, 5:28 PM
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
The D-backs play abysmally at home, but their road play has shown that they have winning talent.
After being swept by the Phillies at home this week, the D-backs fell to 13-28 at Chase Field. Now, on two separate occasions this year, the D-backs have been swept at home by a team that they previously swept on the road (Phillies, Giants).
Conversely, the D-backs have a 23-17 road record, the fifth best in all of baseball.
On the Burns & Gambo Show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Wednesday, prior to the D-backs’ loss, former MLB infielder and current ESPN analyst Aaron Boone said the Diamondbacks could turn things around.
“The national perspective is that they have no chance,” Boone said. “I’m still a little more optimistic and believe that, yeah, they’ve dug themselves a big hole now. The Greinke injury – assuming that he’s okay and only misses a short amount of time – I still believe this is a talented enough team to get themselves back in the wild card mix.”
The D-backs are currently 14 games behind the Giants in the NL West, but just 6.5 GB of a Wild Card spot. If the D-backs can improve at home and continue their road success, they could potentially inch closer to contention.
“I think that absolutely has to start happening in the next three weeks. I think they have to start playing almost lights out brand of baseball,” Boone said. “…This is an important three or four weeks coming up for the Diamondbacks.”
The bad brand of baseball at home is multifaceted: the team hits .275 on the road (third best in MLB) but .260 at home (No. 11 in MLB); D-backs pitchers have a 3.94 ERA on the road (No. 10) and a 5.34 ERA at home (No. 29). According to Boone, playing poorly at home could be multiplying on itself.
“It’s an aberration and one of those things that, when it does happen, then you start to talk about it, you start to become aware of it, and then all of a sudden it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy and you start pressing a little bit,” said Boone. “It can certainly be one of those things that you become aware of as a player and can affect the way you go about things.”
The Diamondbacks had an eventful offseason by acquiring top-level starting pitching and signing former All-Stars Tyler Clippard and Jean Segura. Those newcomers, along with longtime D-backs like Paul Goldschmidt, could use their talent and professionalism to right the ship.
“Ultimately, you have to deal with adversity, you have to deal with these things that creep in from the outside,” Boone said. “The good ones handle it really well and eventually do turn the page. I think the one thing that helps is, when you look around and hopefully, as a club, you’re looking around that room and you realize, ‘We have people that are really talented and really capable.’”