Manager Torey Lovullo, left-hander Patrick Corbin and center fielder A.J. Pollock react to the loss.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo on his team’s loss to the Reds.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Zack Greinke and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt react to the win.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss the Arizona Diamondbacks closer situation and more in our Shot Clock video.
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Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney did not retire a batter on Thursday night as the Dodgers rallied from a three-run deficit to win 5-4 at Dodger Stadium.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Fernando Rodney’s blown save and his team’s gut-wrenching loss to the Dodgers on Thursday night.
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Lefty Robbie Ray talks about his performance vs. the Dodgers in the Diamondbacks’ 5-4 loss on Thursday night.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about lefty Alex Wood’s performance in a 1-0 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday night.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Godley gave up one run in 5 2/3 innings in a 1-0 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday night.
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Diamondbacks outfielder Gregor Blanco talks about Dodgers lefty Alex Wood’s outing and his team’s few chances to score in a 1-0 loss on Wednesday.
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Mark Faller and Dan Bickley discuss how the Suns handled free agency in a loaded West and the Diamondbacks’ options when it comes to rolling the dice on the trade market with the Dodgers in command of the West.
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Diamondbacks shortstop Chris Owings talks about breaking up Clayton Kershaw’s no-hit bid with an infield single.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses his team’s 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.
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Dodgers vs D-Backs series preview 7/4/17
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Diamondback manager Torey Lovullo, shortstop Ketel Marte and starting pitcher Taijuan Walker discuss Sunday’s 4-3 walk-off win over the Rockies on Sunday. With the game tied in the ninth inning, Marte produced a game-winning single.
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Diamondbacks Jake Lamb, Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray and Paul Goldschmidt discuss being named to the MLB All-Star Game in Miami. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks reliever Archie Bradley talks about Zack Greinke’s strong outing in a 6-2 win over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke said “a lot of things were going good” in his outing vs. Rockies on Saturday.
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Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray walked five in six innings, but he said he didn’t think he was missing by much on Friday night vs. the Rockies.
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Chris Owings discusses the Diamondbacks’ 6-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
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D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo talks loss to St. Louis.
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Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen says plans for a humidor at Chase Field have been pushed back to next year.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, who was ejected in the third inning, and starting pitcher Zack Godley discuss the Diamondbacks’ 4-3 loss to the Cardinals at Chase Field on Wednesday. Richard Morin/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks Chief Baseball Analyst Tony La Russa reflects on his life in baseball during an interview at Chase Field in Phoenix on Wednesday. Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo updates Yasmany Tomas and A.J. Pollock injuries before Wednesday’s game. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Chris Herrmann hit a walkoff single to lead the Diamondbacks past the Cardinals at Chase Field on Tuesday. Doug Haller/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses his team’s latest comeback, walkoff win in the 10th inning against the Cardinals on Tuesday. Doug Haller/azcentral sports
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The Diamondbacks’ Chris Herrmann batted leadoff for the first time in his career, and he connected for a home run in the first inning in Monday’s 6-1 win.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke needed 102 pitches to get through five innings of a 6-1 win over the Phillies on Monday.
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Manager Torey Lovullo talks about the Diamondbacks’ latest win over the Phillies on Monday at Chase Field. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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The Diamondbacks only got five innings out of starter Zack Greinke, but went on to a 6-1 win over the Phillies to close out a four-game home series on Monday.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right fielder Chris Owings and infielder Daniel Descalso react to the 2-1 win.
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A video recap of the Diamondbacks’ 2-1 win in extra innings over the Phillies on Sunday at Chase Field.
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Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray on his start against the Phillies on Saturday night.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo speaks with the media following Arizona’s 6-1 loss to the Phillies on Friday at Chase Field.
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Manager Torey Lovullo on the Diamondbacks’ win over the Phillies on Saturday.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo thought his team made a statement with its series victory over the Rockies this week.
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Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt talks about his team’s ability to bounce back from a tough loss on Friday.
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Zack Godley talks about the importance of shutdown innings after going seven innings to beat the Rockies on Thursday.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker threw six innings and his offense did the rest in a 16-4 win at Coors Field on Wednesday.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s 10-run fourth inning against the Rockies on Wednesday night.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo explains why he stuck with Zack Grienke in the eighth inning on Tuesday night.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke talks about how his outing against the Rockies got away from him on Tuesday night at Coors Field.
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Both the Diamondbacks and Rockies overcame deficits in the eighth inning, with Colorado pulling out a 4-3 win on Tuesday.
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azcentral sports’ Greg Moore and Mark Faller discuss the Diamondbacks’ upcoming three-game series against the Rockies and Diana Taurasi becoming the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about the home run Rey Fuentes hit to help beat the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.
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Rey Fuentes’ first career home run was a big one, helping the Diamondbacks beat the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.
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Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray talks about why he wasn’t at his best on Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday evening. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb drove in a run on Saturday to help the Diamondbacks beat the Phillies 5-1. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses his late father’s support and guidance and how that relates to the Diamondbacks’ success this season. David Kadlubowski/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his unusual upbringing, given his father’s job in television with the TV show “Hee Haw.” David Kadlubowski/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s comeback over the Phillies, including Gregor Blanco’s key two-run home run.
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Diamondbacks outfielder Gregor Blanco cracked a game-tying home run in the seventh inning on Friday night.
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Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin beat the Phillies on Friday night, his first road win since June 21, 2016.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Taijuan Walker’s return from the DL and Randall Delgado’s relief performance in a win over the Tigers.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker gave up just one run in five innings in his first start back from the disabled list after missing nearly a month with a blister.
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Outfielder David Peralta discusses his go-ahead home run in the Diamondbacks’ wild 7-6 win over the Detroit Tigers. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Torey Lovullo talks about the Diamondbacks’ back-and-forth game against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray speaks with the media following his team’s 11-1 win over the Brewers on Sunday. Richard Morin/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt speaks with reporters after a 11-1 win over the Brewers on Sunday.
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Diamondbacks starter Zack Godley discusses his performance in Arizona’s 3-2 win on Saturday at Chase Field. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses his team’s win over the Brewers on Saturday at home. Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks starter Randall Delgado reacts to Friday’s loss to the Brewers.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses Friday’s 8-6 loss to the Brewers
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Diamondbacks catcher Chris Iannetta, batting in the No. 2 hole for the first time this season, homered and doubled twice, driving in seven runs in a win over the Padres, June 8, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks fall 2-1 to Reds
Lovullo on the Diamondbacks’ loss to the Reds
Diamondbacks hold off Reds for 6-3 win
Shot Clock: 1 more chance for D-Backs’ Rodney?
Fernando Rodney after blown save vs. Dodgers
Torey Lovullo after Dodgers sweep D-Backs in LA
Robbie Ray on his outing, tough loss vs. Dodgers
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ second consecutive loss in LA
Zack Godley talks about his outing vs. Dodgers.
Gregor Blanco after D-Backs’ loss to Dodgers
Shot Clock: How should Suns, D-Backs prioritize improvement?
Chris Owings on Kershaw’s night, D-Backs’ late push
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ late push in loss vs. Dodgers
Dodgers vs D-Backs preview
Lovullo, Marte, Walker discuss D-Backs’ walk-off win
Four Diamondbacks react to making NL All-Star team
Archie Bradley on D-Backs’ win over Rockies
Zack Greinke on his effective outing vs. Rockies
Robbie Ray on his outing in loss vs. Rockies
Chris Owings homers twice in loss to Rockies
Torey Lovullo talks loss to Cardinals
D-Backs GM on Chase Field humidor being pushed back
Lovullo, Godley reflect on D-Backs’ close loss
Tony La Russa reflects on his baseball life
Torey Lovullo shares Tomas, Pollock, Ahmed injury updates
Chris Herrmann walks it off for D-Backs
D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo: “They fight until the final out”
Chris Herrmann on first career leadoff home run
Zack Greinke on outing vs. Phillies
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ offensive execution in win
Diamondbacks-Phillies recap – June 26
Diamondbacks walk off Philies in extra innings
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies | June 25, 2017
Ray on his outing against the Phillies
Torey Lovullo on Diamondbacks’ loss to Phillies
Lovullo discusses the Diamondbacks’ win over the Phillies
Torey Lovullo after D-Backs win series vs. Rockies
Paul Goldschmidt on D-Backs’ offensive outburst
Zack Godley on strong outing at Coors Field
D-Backs’ Taijuan Walker on win over Rockies
Torey Lovullo after blowout win vs. Rockies
Torey Lovullo on decision to stick with Zack Greinke
Zack Greinke after loss vs. Rockies
D-Backs suffer tough loss in Denver
Shot Clock: D-Backs, Rockies set for showdown
Torey Lovullo on Rey Fuentes’ go-ahead homer
Rey Fuentes on hitting his first career home run
Robbie Ray on his outing vs. Phillies
Manager Torey Lovullo after D-Backs’ sixth consecutive win
Jake Lamb on D-Backs’ latest win over Phillies
Torey Lovullo talks about his late father’s support, guidance
Torey Lovullo on his father’s job in television
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ come-from-behind win over Phillies
Gregor Blanco discusses his game-tying homer vs. Phillies
Patrick Corbin on his performance vs. Phillies
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ latest one-run win
Taijuan Walker on his first outing back from the disabled list
David Peralta on his go-ahead homer in win over Tigers
Torey Lovullo after D-Backs’ win over Tigers
Robbie Ray on D-Backs’ win over Brewers
Paul Goldschmidt on grand slam, offensive outburst
Godley on taking advantage of opportunity after D-Backs win
Torey Lovullo after D-Backs’ win over Brewers
Randall Delgado on his rough outing against Brewers
Lovullo on Diamondbacks’ loss to Brewers
Chris Iannetta on his career-high 7 RBIs vs. Padres
General Manager Mike Hazen allowed himself to smile, then answered with modesty. Could things have possibly gone any better for the Diamondbacks prior to the All-Star break?
“We’ve played well through the first half,” Hazen said.
So much has gone right through 89 games. The Diamondbacks entered the year with a group of players approaching a crossroads. More than likely, it was either win or be torn apart, sold off piece by piece to replenish a diminished farm system.
But before Hazen and the rest of the Diamondbacks’ new front office pondered that sort of future, they made a series of strategic additions, moves aimed at improving the defense, bolstering the bullpen, balancing the lineup and creating a culture, all without damaging the club’s long-term sustainability.
MLB POWER RANKINGS: Trust Diamondbacks in second half?
And while many of those moves have worked out well, the bulk of the production that’s led to a 53-36 record has come from incumbents, many of whom the organization hoped would bounce back from subpar or injury-plagued performances last year.
New manager Torey Lovullo had about as good a first half as anyone. He won over his clubhouse, earning the trust of his players by showing trust in them.
When he asked starters to go another inning, they often did, and without incident. When he gave everyday players days off, he rarely regretted it. When he put players in usual spots in the lineup – like leading off Chris Herrmann or hitting Chris Iannetta second – they tended to have productive days.
Like in other successful seasons in recent club history, this team has thrived despite low expectations, doing so in unconventional and surprising ways. The 2007 team had a negative run differential – that is, it allowed more runs than it scored – but won 90 games. The 2011 team received unexpected seasons from Ian Kennedy, Josh Collmenter and Ryan Roberts en route to 94 wins.
This year’s team has received surprising seasons from, among others, pitchers Zack Godley and Randall Delgado, while creating an expectation that, almost no matter the score, it will find ways to win games. And it’s managed to do it despite a handful of injuries to players such as A.J. Pollock, Shelby Miller, Yasmany Tomas and Taijuan Walker.
MORE: Diamondbacks aiming for rebound after All-Star break
“We’ve consistently brought an energy and a focus, and that’s important,” Hazen said. “I think a couple of things that stand out are Torey and the coaching staff’s leadership, and, two, I think the fact that no matter what has happened, everybody has kind of stepped up and contributed in the roles that they’ve been asked to play.”
From year to year, the pitching staff has shown the most growth, and there’s no shortage of possible contributing factors. Team officials credit the catchers for leading the staff, calling good games and framing pitches. Pitchers say new pitching strategist Dan Haren has helped with his game-planning techniques.
And, of course, contributions have come from the pitchers themselves. Robbie Ray’s command and offspeed pitches are better. Zack Greinke has made fewer mistakes. Godley is throwing harder and has a sharper curveball, a pitch he’s using more than ever. Archie Bradley’s stuff has found that extra gear that had gone missing in recent seasons.
Paul Goldschmidt’s MVP-caliber season is probably as responsible as anything for the Diamondbacks being where they are but is almost the easiest to overlook since it’s come to be expected.
Jake Lamb had another monster first half, this time being rewarded with a spot on the All-Star team. David Peralta, healthy after wrist problems sidetracked his 2016 season, has been an offensive force. Beyond them, the offense has been carried along by an array of contributors, some more expected (like Chris Owings or Brandon Drury) than others (like Daniel Descalso or catcher Chris Iannetta).
“I think we’ve just got a good team,” Pollock said. “Plain and simple, we’ve got a really good team. I think we’ve got a really steady team, too. Not really rattled about stuff. … We just kind of move forward.”
MORE: Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollock returning to form ahead of All-Star break
The Diamondbacks have played well in the close games, winning 18 of 30 one-run contests, but they also have the second-best run differential in the NL, meaning they’re winning their share of lopsided games, too.
Of course, they’ve picked a perfect year to take a step forward given the state of the league. Or, perhaps, the state of the league helps explain their progress. The NL is filled with rebuilders and underachievers. The Diamondbacks are one of just five teams with a winning record.
Give them credit for this: They aren’t losing the trap games; they’re 35-19 against under .500 teams.
So instead of questions about whether their biggest names might be made available, the Diamondbacks will confront a different set of questions leading up to the trade deadline. Can they find another reliable bullpen arm? What about another hitter? How great a price should they pay to get what they need?
With 7 1/2 games between them and the first-place Dodgers, should they spend what little prospect capital they have if their entire postseason might consist of a single game in the wild card playoff? Or does the chance to win outweigh other considerations?
“I think we’ve tried to keep that long view in mind in everything that we’re doing,” Hazen said. “We understand the situation and we’re very proud of the spot we’re in now. We’re going to try to do what we can to help improve the club. We’re going to continue, just as we did in the offseason, to have the long-term focus in mind of the organization. What presents itself to us is going to have to be the right thing for us to do.”
LOOK BACK: Preseason record projections – how many wins for D-Backs?
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ON FACEBOOK: Share your thoughts on D-Backs at halfway point
Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.