Arizona Diamondbacks: Despite current skid, there is little concern
By Mark Brown
Traversing through a downward trend, manager Torey Lovullo says there is little concern.
The recent history of the Arizona Diamondbacks boarders on the ugly. Here’s a team which sailed through the opening three months of the season as not only a legitimate surprise, but also as a team not experiencing an aberration.
Now, tough times.
Coming into play Monday night, the Diamondbacks slipped to third in the National League West division. Once 21 games over .500, the team enters play with a record of 56-42, and behind the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers by 11.5 games.
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Just three weeks ago, the Diamondbacks entered a series with L. A. in Dodger Stadium, and at the start of that set, Arizona trailed the Dodgers by 2.5 games. Since, the Diamondbacks have dropped 11 of their next 15 and in fear of sliding further behind.
Despite challenging times and numbers dropping, there is no apprehension. Before Monday’s game, utility player Daniel Descalso, who has been to the post-season four times with the St. Louis Cardinals, told Venom Strikes what the Diamondbacks currently experience is not unusual.
"“On teams which I’ve played, we had a similar experience,” he said. “All teams go through this, and it’s baseball. The season is long and teams go through ups and downs. At this point, we’ve put ourselves in good position down the stretch.”"
While Jake Lamb’s RBI production slowed down, Paul Goldschmidt’s batting average has dropped and his increasing penchant for striking out rises and starters do not appear as efficient as in early in the season, manager Torey Lovullo discounts the notion the Diamondbacks are spiraling downward.
Before Monday’s home game with Atlanta, Lovullo told Venom Strikes that’s it’s business as usual for his baseball club.
"“There’s minimal concern.” he said. “We played special baseball and have special players. Teams will go up and down. It’s not that we played awful or terrible baseball. We were just getting beat.”"
Perhaps one perspective can come from the opposing dugout.
Beginning Monday, the Diamondbacks will take on the Atlanta Braves and, by the end of Wednesday’s game, they will play each other six games within 12 contests. The fact that the Braves swept Arizona July 14-16 in Sun Trust Park did not present any unusual conditions, and Braves’ skipper Brian Snitker told Venom Strikes before Monday’s game he discounts the notion of any Arizona weakness.
"“(In Atlanta), we played very good baseball,” he said. “We pitched well, hit well, and played some really good baseball. It was not a question of their vulnerability. We just played good baseball.”"
Change in the rotation
Left-hander Jamie Garcia was slated to start the final game of this series Wednesday afternoon for the Braves. Since his trade Monday to the Minnesota Twins, that created a TBA for Brian Snitker, the Braves’ manager.
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While right-hander Mike Foltynewicz will oppose Taijuan Walker Wednesday night, Snitker would not commit a starter for Wednesday. With a day off Thursday before opening a series in Philadelphia against the Phillies Friday night, Snitker said he has time for maneuverability.