‘You talk about frustration’: D-backs fall out of final Wild Card spot

‘You talk about frustration’: D-backs fall out of final Wild Card spot

6:04 AM UTC

PHOENIX — The D-backs knew it was a game that they couldn’t afford to let slip away. Not with the season winding down and the postseason stakes ramping up.

But Tuesday night, the game just seemed to have a bad feel for the home team right from the start, and two-plus hours and several missed opportunities later, the D-backs found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-2 loss.

The loss hurt the D-backs in the NL Wild Card race as they fell a full game behind the Reds, who currently hold the final Wild Card Spot, and they dropped one-half game behind the Marlins.

  • Games remaining: vs. COL (1), at CHC (4), at NYM (4), vs. CHC (3), vs. SF (2), @NYY (3), @CWS (3), vs. HOU (3)
  • Standings update: The D-backs are now one game behind the Reds and one-half game behind the Marlins for the final NL Wild Card spot. The Reds and Marlins hold the tiebreaker advantage over the D-backs as do the Giants, but the D-backs can change that if they win the final two games between the two teams later this month.

“We’ve talked about this for a while now,” veteran third baseman Evan Longoria said. “You know, getting down the stretch, these games … everything becomes magnified. Every opportunity that we have that you don’t kind of cash in becomes something that after the game we’re gonna have to talk about. We’re gonna have to identify how we can do a better job of that and at least expect those questions after the game from you guys [reporters].”

The D-backs have a challenging road trip coming up, including four games at Wrigley Field against the Cubs, who hold the second Wild Card spot, right behind the Phillies.

The Rockies, meanwhile, have the worst record in the NL at 51-87, and the D-backs certainly expected to score more than two runs against a pitching staff that has struggled.

Left-hander Kyle Freeland, who came into the game with a 5.18 ERA, held the D-backs to a pair of runs over six innings, and the Colorado bullpen, which had an 8.60 ERA since Aug. 15, did not allow a hit in three innings.

“You talk about frustration, I think as we’re watching this game unfold, I think our frustration was probably mounting and we just didn’t get it done,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “We all know what’s in front of us. We know the situation. We just couldn’t go out there offensively and string together some consistent at-bats with some consistent approaches.”

The D-backs were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position, and after pulling within a run in the fourth, they managed just two more hits the rest of the game.

“I think we chased [out of the strike zone] in some critical, critical moments,” Lovullo said. “We were a little too aggressive. The intention is good. Everybody wants to go out there and be the guy offensively, but I think we just have to slow the game down, get some count leverage, let the ball come to us, realize the pressure is on the pitcher and then and then go to work.”

The D-backs have a quick turnaround, facing the Rockies in a day game in Wednesday’s rubber match before flying to Chicago, where they will open their four-game series with the Cubs on Thursday night.

Tuesday’s loss makes Wednesday’s finale that much more important, as this is a series the D-backs can ill afford to lose.

“I think we’ll come tomorrow and try to create that energy and try to get back to what we’ve been doing,” Longoria said. “Although I say it’s one game, we’re in a spot where one game matters at this point. And so I understand the perspective of like, ‘Man, we can’t have these lapses.’ And I don’t think it was necessarily an energetic lapse. I just think some of those opportunities got away from us today.”

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *