D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo talks about the emotional swings in the Diamondbacks 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, May 29, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Chris Iannetta talks about his two-run, game-tying homer on Monday evening at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, May 29, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks reliever Archie Bradley talks about the home run Andrew McCutchen hit off him to give the Pirates a walkoff on Monday, May 29, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses Patrick Corbin’s struggles and his team’s loss to the Brewers on Sunday at Miller Park. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin was roughed up by the Brewers on Sunday in Milwaukee, giving up seven runs, including four on a grand slam by Domingo Santana. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke talks about the pitch that Jett Bandy hit for a bases-clearing double in Saturday’s loss to the Brewers. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo breaks down Zack Greinke’s outing vs. the Brewers and Chase Anderson’s near no-hitter on Saturday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt talks about the performance of ex-teammate Chase Anderson, who flirted with a no-hitter against his former team on Saturday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s late rally to beat the Brewers 4-2 in Milwaukee on Friday night.
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Chris Iannetta talks about the ninth-inning home run he hit on Friday night in Milwaukee.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss the key for the Diamondbacks’ long-term success this season and weigh in on the LeBron vs. Jordan debate.
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Lefty Robbie Ray lowered his road ERA to 0.81 with seven scoreless innings vs. the Brewers on Thursday night.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about left-hander Robbie Ray’s outing in his team’s 4-0 win over the Brewers on Thursday night.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses his club’s 8-6 win over the White Sox to complete a home sweep on Wednesday. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb discusses homering off left-hander Jose Quintana despite his lefty struggles and the Diamondbacks’ strong start to the season after Wednesday’s win. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks catcher Chris Herrmann on recent hitting surge and his home run in Arizona’s 5-4 win on Tuesday at Chase Field. Doug Haller/azcentral sports
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Pitcher Archie Bradley was one of three Arizona Diamondbacks who participated in a cow-milking competition on May 23, 2017 at Chase Field.
The contest was to promote Shamrock Farms Grand Slam Milk Drive program.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller discusses his Tommy John surgery and his impending rehab before Tuesday’s game at Chase Field. Doug Haller/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Mark Faller and Dan Bickley weigh in on the Diamondbacks, LeBron James and NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
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Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke on his near-complete game and use of an Eephus pitch during Monday’s dominant outing against the White Sox. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Zack Greinke’s strong performance and the club’s offense. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and E.J. Montini discuss the Diamondbacks and their special summer ticket deal.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Padres lefty Clayton Richard’s performance and the home run by Chris Iannetta on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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The Diamondbacks’ Chris Iannetta returned from the disabled list on Sunday and slammed a home run on the first pitch he saw. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Godley threw seven innings and allowed three runs, all of them scoring in the fifth in a loss to the Padres on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo on his team’s easy win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s eight-run first inning and right-hander Taijuan Walker’s sharp outing vs. the Padres. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker gave up just two hits in six scoreless innings, but he wasn’t satisfied with the way he threw on Friday night in a win over the Padres. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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The Diamondbacks’ Brandon Drury talks about his team’s offensive outburst vs. the Padres on Friday night at Petco Park. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss the NBA MVP, the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers and the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive backs.
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D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo, catcher Chris Herrmann and left-hander Patrick Corbin react to the 5-4 win against the Mets, sweeping the series, May 17, 2017.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Zack Greinke and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt react to Tuesday’s 5-4 Diamondbacks win. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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D-Backs’ Zack Godley talks pitching and gameplay after his team’s 7-3 win over the Mets, May 15, 2017.
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D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo discusses the pace his team kept during a 7-3 win over the Mets, May 15, 2017.
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Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock talks about the injury that forced him to leave Sunday’s loss to the Pirates. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta doesn’t think his glute injury is significant, he said. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo breaks down his team’s 6-4 loss to the Pirates on Sunday and provides updates on his injured outfielders. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks catcher Chris Iannetta says he ‘got lucky on all accounts’ after being hit in the face by a 93 mph fastball on Friday night vs. the Pirates. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Taijuan Walker and shortstop Nick Ahmed react to the 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, May 13, 2017.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo provides an update on catcher Chris Iannetta, who was hit in the face by a pitch during Friday’s game, before Saturday’s game. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Manager Torey Lovullo, second baseman Brandon Drury and left-hander Patrick Corbin react to 11-4 win against the Pirates, May 12, 2017.
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Shot Clock: Colin Kaepernick is better than Blaine Gabbert, right? So why did the Cardinals not sign him? Also, Zack Greinke has his Randy Johnson moment … what does it mean for Diamondbacks?
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Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke describes his night, in which he nearly threw a no-hitter against the Pirates.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo reacts to Zack Greinke’s near-no-hit performance in Thursday’s win over the Pirates.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Zack Godley and shortstop Nick Ahmed react to the 7-1 win.
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Manager Torey Lovullo and left-hander Robbie Ray react to the 7-3 loss.
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azcentral sports’ Sarah McLellan and Dan Bickley discuss the D-Backs’ difficulties on the road and the NBA’s big issue in the playoffs.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo says defensive miscues cost them in a 5-2 loss to the Rockies on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker talks about his outing vs. the Rockies at Coors Field on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin was charged with eight runs in four-plus innings against the Rockies on Saturday night.
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Manager Torey Lovullo didn’t think his team played fundamentally sound in Saturday night’s 9-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke gave up two runs in seven innings in a win over the Rockies on Friday.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo breaks down his team’s win over the Rockies on Friday night.
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Torey Lovullo on Diamondbacks’ loss to the Pirates
Diamondbacks’ Chris Iannetta on his latest clutch homer
Archie Bradley after walkoff loss to Pirates
Torey Lovullo on Patrick Corbin’s outing, loss to Brewers
Patrick Corbin on his outing vs. Brewers
Zack Greinke on his outing in loss to Brewers
Torey Lovullo on loss to Brewers, Chase Anderson
Paul Goldschmidt talks about Chase Anderson’s outing
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ comeback win in MIlwaukee
Chris Iannetta on his game-tying homer vs. Brewers
Can D-Backs keep this up? Why, why not
Robbie Ray after dominant outing in Milwaukee
D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo on impressive win over Brewers
Torey Lovullo on ‘nice team win’ for D-Backs
Jake Lamb on strong game against lefty Jose Quintana
Chris Herrmann on hitting surge, HR in win
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley competes in cow milking competition
Shelby Miller: Tommy John surgery ‘was a pretty smooth process’
Shot Clock: Time to take D-Backs seriously
Zack Greinke on near-complete game, Eephus pitch
Torey Lovullo on Zack Greinke’s ‘great night’
Montini volunteers free tickets – with Bickley’s help
D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo on loss vs. Padres
Chris Iannetta on homering in first game off DL
Zack Godley on his outing vs. Padres
Torey Lovullo after D-Backs pound Padres 9-1
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ blowout win vs. Padres
Taijuan Walker tosses six scoreless vs. Padres
Brandon Drury homers in win vs. Padres
Watch out for Dodgers; Cards CBs apply for job
Diamondbacks outlast Mets in extra innings
Diamondbacks discuss close win over Mets
Diamondbacks’ Zack Godley talks after win over Mets
Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo talks upbeat pace in win over Mets
A.J. Pollock discusses his injury after loss to Pirates
David Peralta downplays his injury vs. Pirates
Torey Lovullo on injuries, loss vs. Pirates
Chris Iannetta talks about scary HBP vs. Pirates
Diamondbacks rally falls short against Pirates
Lovullo: Iannetta “said he could play tonight if he had to” after HBP
Diamondbacks overwhelm Pirates 11-4
Kaepernick blackballed? Greinke now trade bait?
Zack Greinke on his near no-hitter against Pirates
Lovullo reacts to Greinke’s near no-hitter in win
Diamondbacks snap losing streak with win over Tigers
Diamondbacks drop third straight with loss to Tigers
Shot Clock: D-Backs face pivotal homestand
Torey Lovullo after D-Backs’ latest loss to Rockies
Taijuan Walker after loss to Rockies
Patrick Corbin after being roughed up by Rockies
D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo on ‘tough night’ at Coors Field
Zack Greinke on impressive outing vs. Rockies
Manager Torey Lovullo after win over Rockies
PITTSBURGH – Robbie Ray spent years trying to refine a change-up that he hoped would become a reliable third pitch. Turns out he just needed to go back to a pitch he set aside years ago in the minor leagues.
The curveball has turned into a highly effective pitch for the Diamondbacks left-hander, and he believes the presence of three dependable offerings – there’s also a mid-90s fastball and a slider – has made a world of difference in his effectiveness so far this season.
“It keeps guys honest,” Ray said. “They always have to respect the fastball, but when I have that curveball and the slider working that day, it just makes my fastball that much better. They not only have to respect the fastball, they have to respect the other pitches, too. The curveball, there’s such a difference in velocity there that it kind of keeps them off balance.”
Ray, who starts on Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, hasn’t allowed a run in 14 2/3 innings over his past two outings, with just four hits and three walks allowed to go along with 15 strikeouts.
Ray said he had a good curveball back when he was a Washington Nationals pitching prospect, but when his velocity began to jump, the organization thought a slider might be a better pitch for him.
He began throwing it again in games last year, but he said the pitch too closely resembled his slider. That began to change this spring.
“I think mechanically I became more consistent so it became more consistent,” he said. “Same grip, it’s just really working on the consistency part with my mechanics and my arm slot.”
In years past Ray was focused on developing a change-up, a pitch that’s often important for left-handed pitchers to get right-handed hitters out. But he pointed to the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw as another left-hander who relies mostly on the same pitch mix.
“There’s another guy in the game that does pretty well with just three pitches,” Ray said. “Sometimes it’s addition by subtraction.”
McFarland is D-Backs’ latest reclamation reliever
Left-hander T.J. McFarland fired three innings in relief for the Diamondbacks on Sunday, helping ease the burden on the rest of the bullpen, an important contribution because Monday’s starter, Randall Delgado, is expected to be on a 75-pitch limit.
The outing was the latest impressive performance for McFarland, whom the Diamondbacks signed to a minor league deal in early March, the latest solid reliever they’ve corralled on a bounceback year.
In 11 2/3 innings, McFarland has allowed just one earned run (and three unearned runs) on nine hits and two walks.
“I’m just throwing strikes, getting ground balls,” McFarland said. “We’ve got an incredible defense, so it makes it a lot easier for the pitcher, especially me being a sinkerball guy. Getting ground balls, throwing strikes, getting ahead in the count – that’s kind of the name of the game for me.”
After spending the past four years with the Baltimore Orioles, McFarland was released in spring training on the heels of a season in which he posted a 6.93 ERA in 24 2/3 innings.
McFarland dealt with a knee injury last year and didn’t feel quite right mechanically after coming back. But he also said he just didn’t pitch well – “Plain old had a bad year,” he said – and is happy to be turning the page with the Diamondbacks.
McFarland is one of four relievers in the Diamondbacks bullpen who originally signed minor league deals before the year, joining J.J. Hoover, Jorge De La Rosa and Tom Wilhelmsen. Fernando Rodney got a guaranteed deal but he, too, was coming off a rough season.
“We do talk about it, but kind of just talk about the game and how everyone just deals with their ups and downs,” McFarland said. “It’s really just about grinding through it. Because everyone that’s here has the talent to succeed, but it’s whether or not you stay consistent with it. I think right now we’re all in a good place in the bullpen and the team is doing really well, and we’re just going to keep moving forward.”
D-Backs may need another start from Delgado
Right-hander Taijuan Walker will throw a 60-pitch simulated game on Tuesday, manager Torey Lovullo said, and assuming all goes well Walker could return to face the Marlins this weekend in Miami.
“We’re going to consider tomorrow a start day for him,” Lovullo said, “so if he starts he’s going to need normal rest in between.”
Essentially, that means Walker would start Sunday, which is one day later than his old spot in the rotation. That means the Diamondbacks might need to turn back to Randall Delgado, who faces the Pirates at PNC Park on Monday.
“It could be,” Lovullo said. “There are options that we have and Randall is certainly deserving of it.”
Delgado threw 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball on Monday, departing with the game tied at PNC Park, in a second consecutive solid start in place of Walker.
Delgado threw 92 pitches, well north of what Lovullo had said was his target range of 75 pitches. Lovullo did say he’d consider allowing Delgado to throw a few more depending on how the outing progressed.
The only run Delgado allowed came in the fourth, when Josh Bell’s sac fly drove in Jordy Mercer, who tripled one batter earlier.
Herrmann’s homers equal wins
The Diamondbacks’ Chris Herrmann has 17 career homers in 16 different games. His teams – the first six homers came with the Minnesota Twins, the next 11 with the Diamondbacks – are unbeaten in those 16 games.
That makes Herrmann the current holder of a major league record: most career homers in which all came in a win, a stat uncovered by the Twitter account @HighHeatStats.
Herrmann could lose the record as soon as he hits his next homer – since it could very well come in a loss – but that’s not how he’s thinking about it.
“I guess it means,” he said, “that I just need to hit more home runs.”
Diamondbacks at Pirates
When: 4:05 p.m.
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh.
Pitchers: Diamondbacks LHP Robbie Ray (4-3, 3.45) vs. Pirates RHP Ivan Nova (5-3, 2.83).
TV/Radio: FSAZ/KMVP-FM (98.7), KHOV-FM (105.1).
Ray has dominated in his past two starts, tossing a combined 14 2/3 scoreless innings with three walks and 15 strikeouts against the Padres and Brewers. … Ray is averaging 11.1 strikeouts and 4.4 walks per nine innings. Opponents are hitting just .202 against him. … Ray did not throw well the last time he faced the Pirates, giving up four runs in four innings, allowing six hits and three walks earlier this month. … Nova pitched into the ninth inning of his most recent start, giving up four runs in 8 1/3 innings of a win over the Braves. … He has thrown at least six innings in each of his first 10 starts. … He gave up three runs in six innings against the Diamondbacks on May 14, winning his first matchup with Ray.
Wednesday: At Pittsburgh, 9:35 a.m., Diamondbacks RHP Zack Godley (1-1, 1.99) vs. Pirates RHP Chad Kuhl (1-5, 6.29).
Thursday: At Miami, 4:10 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke (6-3, 3.24) vs. Marlins RHP Vance Worley (0-2, 5.00).
Friday: At Miami, 4:10 p.m., Diamondbacks LHP Patrick Corbin (4-5, 5.14) vs. Marlins RHP Jose Urena (3-2, 3.14).