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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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
The Valley has a long history of disappointment. Teams that melt our hearts inevitably break our hearts. Teams that seem destined for greatness often end up in the basement. Not surprisingly, we’ve become a bit skeptical over the years — conditioned to impending disappointment.
The 2017 Diamondbacks are breaking the mold. Their sustained excellence is changing our notorious wait-and-see attitude, and the proof is in the numbers.
“You could definitely feel the difference last weekend,” the Diamondbacks’ Daniel Descalso said. “Not only are we seeing larger crowds, but they were loud and they were into the game. I think it’s because we’ve proven we’re a good, winning ballclub and we’re going to play some meaningful games here late in the summer and down the stretch.”
Home attendance reflects the growing belief. The team drew almost 100,000 fans for a three-game series against the Brewers; they attracted 121,000 fans for a four-game set against the lowly Phillies, including more than 21,000 for a Monday matinee game; and on Thursday, the crowd for an afternoon game against the Cardinals exceeded 27,000.
Prior to June 1, the team was averaging 22,648 spectators per game. That figure has soared to 27,789 over the past four weeks. That’s a quantum leap in these parts.
The level of engagement has been even more impressive, with fans beginning to stand and cheer during key moments, feeding energy to a team that hasn’t heard this kind of commotion in years. Chase Field is becoming the place to be and be seen, as evidenced by the two amateurs who felt compelled to run on the field in the past week.
“We’ve been saying it for years: if we win, people will come and watch,” Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb said. “It’s pretty simple. I grew up a baseball fan, and if the team wasn’t winning, they were no fun to watch. It doesn’t matter how much of a die-hard fan you are. It’s no fun to watch a bad team.”
The shifting vibe at Chase Field is a dramatic and wonderful occurrence, especially for a stadium that generally looks like an airplane hangar and sounds like a morgue during the summer months.
In Zack Greinke’s pair of Opening Day starts with Arizona, the crowd seemed dispassionate and out of touch, as if they were attending a movie premiere. Two-strike counts generated no response, atypical to the crescendo of noise that normally accompanies big moments on a baseball field.
That’s no longer the case, and maybe it’s because these Diamondbacks have rewarded their paying customers, winning 30 of their first 40 home games prior to the current two-game skid. Maybe it’s because the Valley is starving for a true contender, a region where the Suns, Diamondbacks and Coyotes have combined for 17 consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance.
Or maybe it’s because the new regime symbolizes a revolution of sorts, where the combination of front-office analytics and elite dugout management speaks to sustained success.
Either way, it’s working. And maybe it’s a blessing that plans for a humidor have been shelved until the 2018 season, where carefully preserved baseballs will be easier for pitchers to grip, and harder for batters to hit out of the park. Why mess with a good thing?
“One of the things that has really stood out this year is our ability to come from behind and win baseball games,” said Descalso, who won a World Series title in St. Louis. “We’ve been down early in some games, where maybe the offense isn’t clicking right away, where the first couple of times through the order we don’t have much to show for it.
“But we’ve been able to fight back in the later innings and steal some victories. If you’re a good ball club, your pitching staff is able to keep you in some of those games, and your offense is able to rally towards the end.”
MORE D-BACKS: Late-inning heroics becoming routine for Diamondbacks
The team’s resiliency extends beyond the turnstiles. Television ratings grew 23 percent from May to June and are up 28 percent overall.
Sports franchises in Arizona fight a constant battle with apathy, ticket sales and transient fans. The Cardinals have sold out every game in Glendale but have yet to find the peak level of partisanship, where tickets are treasured and not pawned for profit. Suns star Devin Booker often has his best games under adverse conditions, taking offense whenever mixed allegiances tear at the fabric of home-court advantage.
The Diamondbacks have a long way to go. They will reach the halfway point of the season with Friday’s game, and a two-game losing streak to the Cardinals proves they will not win every series at home. But the franchise has learned a valuable lesson along the way.
They are pioneers in Major League Baseball when it comes to culinary creations, unveiling new concession items that appeal to a sport fan’s stomach. But nothing tastes better or goes down easier than a playoff contender, the kind with young stars and a really bright future.
Reach Bickley at [email protected] or 602-444-8253. Follow him on twitter.com/dan.bickley. Listen to “Bickley and Marotta” weekdays from 12-2 p.m. on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.